The Many Faces of Health Care Reform

The USA is considered by many to be the greatest country in the world. Because of that label, it is baffling to many how there are hundreds of thousands of people that are not insured or without access to health care because they simply cannot afford it. If you cannot afford group care insurance or if you do not have a job, becoming ill or sick can have a devastating effect on your life. Simple tests and procedures can rack up bills into the tens of thousands of dollars, and if you need surgery? You may just end up with a lifetime of debt for one week in the hospital. Countries such as Canada have nation-wide mandatory health care, and if President Obama has his way, so will the USA.

Healthcare reform is a hot topic right now, and it is a central issue that President Obama is focusing on. Change is needed, as private health insurance is expensive, and people are turned away due to lack of funds. Many young people don't believe in the need for health care, so they don't sign up for private options when presented to them. Obama proposed a public option that would ensure that every American has access to health care. As with any great change, the proposal has been met with great resistance.

President Barack Obama meeting with healthcare stakeholders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.
Universal health care means that everyone will have to pay his or her fair share. Government subsidies will exist for those who are low income, but middle-income earners will make too much money to take advantage, and could see a significant chunk taken out of their pocket book to cover health care. Older citizens are concerned that it will interfere with their Medicare, as with each new system change, obvious changes need to be made to the way things are currently running. Yet another objection is that some people really like their private health care options, and don't want to lose it to public options that may not meet their needs. As well, many, many Americans distrust the Government, as the track record has shown past issues with Medicare and the US Postal Service.

This issue really comes down to money. Businesses, both big and small, will have to find a plan that fits within their budget. Doctors and nurses are weighing in that they are not interested in the new plan and up to 45% say they may take early retirement if the new system comes into place. A doctor shortage would greatly influence the current nursing shortage, as nurses need to step in already when there is a shortage of physicians. With so many people against global health care, can the system as Obama proposed really work?

Despite objections, the USA may be in for the biggest health care overhaul in 4 decades. The Health Care Reform Bill was passed by the House of Representatives, and is currently going to the Senate for another vote. Although some say that it will never see the light of day after the Senate, the passing through the House of Representatives at a margin of 220 to 215 indicates that the naysayers may have to eat their words.

Change is a scary thing, especially when it pertains to our health. Unfortunately, without change we continue to be stuck with the same issues that we've dealt with year after year. Time can only tell what scope the new Health Care Reform Bill will have on the USA.

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