Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: A few public policy issues that need more attention

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  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Oct. 1, 2012 7:22 a.m.

    I believe the key to the health care issue is discussing costs instead of coverage. So far, the only costs I hear being discussed are the costs of coverage. The government tries reducing Medicaid payments to curb costs, and all that really does is discourage doctors from accepting Medicaid patients.

    The problem is in the charges of services and goods. One of our children recently needed some lab tests. They were common tests. We have good health insurance, so our portion of the payments was about $40. I looked at the paperwork afterwards, and found that our insurance company paid about $100, and the rest was written off as being above the reasonable and customary cost. The original bill from the lab was over $600!

    My insurance protects me from paying above the “reasonable and customary” cost, but what about those without insurance?

    There has to be some reform in the health care industry relating to what and how they charge consumers, and that will never happen if we only address insurance coverage.

    By the way, not all of those countries with universal health care are all that happy with it. Some are moving away from it.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 2:22 a.m.

    The issue regarding expanding healthcare for people is that one Party appears to try and do something about this problem (not necessarily the best, but something) while the other gives lip service only when the "doing" Party attempts to do something and then conveniently forgets it after they've triumphed in stopping doing anything.

    While many in the "do-nothing" Party complain about costs (they apparently prefer to have people pay through the backdoor by having those not covered by some healthcare insurance be required to go to the emergency room and we all know who pays for that visit) or simply ignore the issue and have these people get more sick and eventually die.

    The United States is the only advanced country to not have universal healthcare and lags behind many countries inferior in "quality of life". It appears that the Republican Party doesn't even want to address this problem which is, in my opinion, a question of national security. How can we have a safe and secure nation when the nation's health remains at risk. It doesn't have to be a Democratic solution, but it can't be a Republican non-solution.