I hear varying opinions about the national health reform. Depending on who you speak with, health reform is either a vision of hope or a nightmare. Those that hope in healthcare are usually blue collar workers who were previously unable to afford health insurance. Several refugees (I’m talking about legal, documented individuals and families) are unable to afford health insurance offered by their employers and have not been educated on the great need of having insurance for when you or your children get sick. This reform means that their children will be covered, that they will be more likely to afford healthcare and that if they don’t purchase it-they are breaking the law.
For medical providers-especially doctors-this reform could be disastrous. As this article conveys, most physicians incur debt because of their training and their compensation for the decade (sometimes longer) of training they have undergone. This reform means that doctors might lose the compensation they receive for their work and primary care physicians are threatened least by this national reform. At this point, most specialists are peeing their pants trying to figure out how this reform is going to affect them. They should be-It’ seems as though this reform, in trying to tackle too big a beast without enough specific understanding of the problems of our system, may instead injure the one party we need most in this healthcare system. The doctors.
yes, there have been a few attempts in regulation of the industry: mandating that employers offer health insurance and that individuals get it, transparency of the insurance companies raising rates and reform for those refusing to cover those who need it the most (the sick), and for hospitals as a whole to cut down on administrative costs and other overhead, but at the end of the day-when you start playing with the roles of physicians and try to reform their practices and compensation-quality of care for patients is directly effected. All other regulations offer indirect effects to patients-cheaper care, access to care-but if you mess with the doctors, you are directly messing with patients. The last think we want is for people to decide, ‘medical school just isn’t worth the hassle-I’m going to spend 10+ years of training to start working with inadequate compensation under harsh regulatory conditions in an environment where everyone is out to screw me.’
Again, I’m going to point us to preventative efforts and looking at healthcare under a microscope-get to the root of the problem and treat it, don’t just try to cover it up with a band-aid.
Read about the possible fate of Primary Care Doctors by clicking here.