Thursday, August 20, 2009

Many sides to health care debate

Here's an article by Fox News I found helpful in understanding the different sides of the national health care debate. It will be quite a challenge to find any true bipartisanship among such opposing views:

Liberals -- They insist that a government-run health insurance plan, or "public option," that will compete with private insurers is essential to health care reform.

Blue Dogs -- These fiscally conservative Democrats are concerned about the costs of overhauling the health care system and the potential harm it could have on small businesses.

Gang of Six -- This group of bipartisan lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee is trying to forge a consensus deal that will appease both political parties and pass a divided Senate.

Conservatives -- All of them are opposed to a "public option," saying it will lead to a government takeover of health care because private insurers will be unable to compete.

Health care industry leaders: They want health care reform, because if the government requires everyone to get coverage, it could provide them a jackpot. (Only on this last point do I see a serious oversight. Not all health care industry leaders support Obama's plan. In fact, some reports indicate that a majority of doctors oppose it.)

We all want to see people treated with dignity and receive good medical care, but it's difficult to know precisely what role the government should play in all of this. Personally, I lean toward a much more laissez-faire "hands off" approach. History has proven that the free market works much better than any bureaucracy trying to micro-manage the system.

I believe a key problem making medical care so expensive and now inaccessible to 50 million Americans is medical malpractice insurance. Due to our litigious, rights-demanding culture, malpractice cases have soared and are driving up the medical costs that patients face today. David Wells shares this startling statistic: "Over the last three or four decades the number of personal rights has exploded...As the sense of responsibility for personal behavior has shrunk, the need for litigation has increased. America has more lawyers than the rest of the world combined." The Courage to Be Protestant, p. 159). The key to true health care reform may lie more in the courthouse than in the Senate chamber.

May God give our leaders great wisdom in this health care debate, and may He give us grace to submit to whatever decision they make.

1 comment:

  1. Although if we define "Healthcare Industry Leaders" as "Insurance Company Leaders", which is how I believe news reports would be accurately conveyed, it would probably be accurate.

    I haven't heard any reporters citing the AMA or similar groups.

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