Monday, February 15, 2010

While I'm On A Roll...

I promised K. Erickson over at Preachers and Horse Thieves a profound post about healthcare.  I'm not sure how profound this will be, but I hope it give you food for thought. 

I've been thinking a lot about President Obama's Proposed Healthcare Reform.  I've heard lots of opinions about it, both pro and con, but I hadn't really paid much attention.  So, since I promised K. I took a look at the President's plan and let me tell you's pretty much the same thing as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1986).  Go ahead, click the link that will take you to Obama's plan, read it, and then compare it to this:

HIPAA, (Public Law 104-191) amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, has several aspects, but the one patients are most aware of is the aspect pertaining to patient privacy and protected health information (PHI). In addition to patient privacy, HIPAA also intends to:

• Improve the portability and continuity of health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets by:

o Limiting exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions;

o Prohibiting discrimination in enrollment and premiums against employees and their dependents based on health status;

o Guaranteeing availability of health insurance coverage for small employers and renewablity of health insurance coverage in both the small and large group markets;

o Providing credit for prior health coverage and a process for transmitting certificates and other information concerning prior coverage to a new group health plan or issuer;

o Providing new rights that allow individuals to enroll for health coverage when they lose other health coverage, change from group to individual coverage, or have a new dependent; and

o Preserving, through narrow pre-emption provisions, the states’ traditional role in regulating health insurance, including state flexibility to provide greater protections.

• Combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery;
• Promote the use of medical savings accounts (MSAs);
• Improve access to long-term care services and coverage;
• Simplify the administration of health insurance;
• Create standards for electronic health information transactions;
• Create privacy standards for health information; and
• Create unique identifiers for providers, health plans, employers, and individuals.
Seems to me that Obama's plan and the one already enacted as law are an awful lot alike.  Wouldn't it just be better to enforce what's already in place rather than re-inventing the wheel?  Again.

Now, I know that there are things in Obama's plan that HIPPA doesn't address.  Like healthcare for uninsured Americans.  Hello, Medicaid.  Problem is, Medicaid is broken.  And I mean B-R-O-K-E-N, but that's a post for another day.


K. Erickson said...

Well, I guess I can't gripe anymore. In truth, I was hoping for something about what health care reform should look like from the perspective of one in the industry; but, beggars can't be choosers. I do like the point about enforcing the laws already on the books instead of reinventing the legislative wheel. That applies to a whole lot more issues than just healthcare.

GunDiva said...

The truth is, K, those in healthcare are split on reform. Even within my small community at the college, there are different feelings about it. I have an issue with re-inventing the wheel. There's a push in my area for a single-payor system, which isn't the answer either. As I've said before, medicine's not broken - insurance is. The problem that ANY President is going to have their hands tied because the insurance industry lobby is one of the biggest in the nation.

Resentful Wife said...

I feel like I'm going to a gun fight with a knife when people start talking politics. I know I should be more informed and get more involved...

All I can say is that we are one of the top 10 richest countries in the world and dadgummit, it seems like we should be able to take care of our sick citizens...even if they don't have insurance because their employer doesn't offer it and they make too much money to get medicaid. Seems like it should be one of the benefits of being an American citizen and paying your taxes. I don't know how we get there from here, I just know we should.

There. That's about as political as I get. That was a full 2 cents worth.

GunDiva said...

That about as political as I get as well. The thing is, here in Colorado, we do have programs for people who make too much money for Medicaid, but can't afford "real" insurance. The blowhard politicians choose to overlook what's already in place. Just put the money in the programs that already exist for Pete's sake!