Well-Come to Agent for Change, a blog created by Marly Silverman, to serve as a catalyst for change that is much needed on the issues affecting millions of individuals stricken with neuroendocrineimmune disorders worldwide. Through this blog I want to share ideas, exchange, communicate and find solutions for everyday living. The goal is to pursue quality of life that will make a difference in the lives of individuals with neuroendocrineimmune disorders (NEIDs).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Health Care Reform and the NEIDs (Neuroendocrineimmune Disorders) Community

Professor Neil H. Buchanan, a Tax Law Professor has written a very interesting article on healthcare rationing. He brings forward not only a logical response to the "rationing issue" being pushed by strident opponents of the "Public Option". He provides a very good explanation of the concept of rationing. His article brings light to the overall concerns that we as a society need to look closely: How to implement a just and fair health care accessibility to all Americans, despite social and class demographics?

Just like in the criminal justice system there seems to be two systems on healthcare: one for the rich, and one for the poor or middle class. The goal of current healthcare reform is to attempt to bridge this gap between gender, age, and ethnic disparities and of course among social classes.

Rationing is already part of the health care "free market enterprise" as we have now. The basic difference between what we have now and what health care reform will attempt to change is that currently there is no transparency in our health care system. The public (consumers of health care insurance programs) do not have access to the rule of the game, i.e.: how insurance companies really choose what services to provide to consumers and how these choices are really marketed or offered to the consumers, leaving several important questions unanswered: Are we getting a fair price for the services we are getting? Are the services we are getting now what we really need or want? What is wrong with injecting a bit of competition in the market? Isn’t competition that makes any market to thrive?

Some will debate that when government interferes in the market, it is no longer a free market. But isn’t our government founded in the principles that our “government is of the people, by the people, for the people”…(Abraham Lincoln)

I should point out that rationing has been a part of the picture in political & economic societies, from the least sophisticated to the most industrialized ones. Sadly it has occurred within the neuroendocrineimmune disorders community for far too long. Even before the issue of our national economical crisis came to light, our community has experienced deep personal, professional and financial hardship way before this national recession came to place. This is a fact! It is as well an an issue of quality of life that I have advocated over the years. Most of the advocates within our community understand this concept already. Recently on one of his posts, John Herd shared his take on these important issues too.

The fact that now a much larger number of Americans are now facing the same issues the NEIDs community has been facing for years, brings a whole new take on the situation by the powers to be in government and political science fields. The hardships that health care reform is trying to address, mirror the lack of accessibility to medical care, which includes not enough willing treating physicians in the NEIDs field; loss of employment which leads to lacking accessibility to private or employer medical insurance. These medical and financial challenges have been a part of life for just about every NEIDs individual whom I have spoken since I became an advocate. Health Care reform is a prime opportunity for these deficiencies in the social, disability and healthcare system to be addressed in a way that will benefit our community of suffering.

Here is Tax Prof Neil Buchanan (George Washington), inaugural column: Rationing Health Care: We Have Always Done It, We Do It Now, and We Always Will:
"As the debate over health care reform has become increasingly degraded over the past few weeks, one of the claims that has been treated as a serious complaint about the Democrats' plans -- unlike, say, the claim that the plans include "death panels" -- has been the assertion that their proposals will result in the rationing of health care. ...
The bottom line? There is not, has never been, and can never be, enough medical care to cover everyone in every situation. Rationing is a fact of life. Current health care proposals in Congress would change the rules for rationing, bring them into the light, and create accountability for the decision makers. If we do not adopt those proposals, we will go back to the chaotic form of rationing that has been killing far too many of us for far too long."

Buchanan Named Featured Columnist at FindLaw

I look forward to reading your comments and feedback.

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