Healthcare Debate Summer '09: The Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Others believed that cost control would become a matter for distant and impersonal government boards, with a direct effect on care, and that the reduced competition brought about by the federal government's entrance into the insurance market in any form would simply lead to rising healthcare costs without any real control or oversight. These two pictures of dire futures brought about by the healthcare bill seem to be mutually exclusive, with one predicting uncontrolled expenses and the other control so tight that care is potentially denied for expense reasons alone, but both were a part of the argument against the national healthcare bill.

Oversight

There has also been considerable debate regarding exactly who will
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be overseeing the program. There was considerable talk of "death panels," a deliberately fear-invoking image of a bunch of suit-wearing individuals determining when it was time for a person to die rather than continue to receive expensive medical care. The thought of panels of government bureaucrats overseeing every aspect of care, including end-of-life care, was horrific to many people, and a major source of anger and opposition to the bill. Proponents of the bill, however, insisted that the doctor and patient would still determine health care plans, and that the government's role would purely be in ensuring adequate funding in order to cover the vast majority of currently uninsured Americans. The reconciliation of these two views is still long in coming.

Sources Used in Documents:

Another hugely contentious issue in the healthcare debate that raged in the summer of 2009 was the control of the expenses of the program, and how that would be related to the care received and the cost of that care (and the insurance to begin with) to the average taxpayer. On one side, many politicians and advocates stressed that even a single-payer system wouldn't mean that a government bureaucrat would decide care based on a need to control expenses; the programs overseers would assess the costs of providing healthcare and adjust spending and rates accordingly, just as occurs in the private insurance and medical services industries. Others believed that cost control would become a matter for distant and impersonal government boards, with a direct effect on care, and that the reduced competition brought about by the federal government's entrance into the insurance market in any form would simply lead to rising healthcare costs without any real control or oversight. These two pictures of dire futures brought about by the healthcare bill seem to be mutually exclusive, with one predicting uncontrolled expenses and the other control so tight that care is potentially denied for expense reasons alone, but both were a part of the argument against the national healthcare bill.

Oversight

There has also been considerable debate regarding exactly who will be overseeing the program. There was considerable talk of "death panels," a deliberately fear-invoking image of a bunch of suit-wearing individuals determining when it was time for a person to die rather than continue to receive expensive medical care. The thought of panels of government bureaucrats overseeing every aspect of care, including end-of-life care, was horrific to many people, and a major source of anger and opposition to the bill. Proponents of the bill, however, insisted that the doctor and patient would still determine health care plans, and that the government's role would purely be in ensuring adequate funding in order to cover the vast majority of currently uninsured Americans. The reconciliation of these two views is still long in coming.

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