Editor's Note: Many of you continued to talk about health care reform with questions about health care in V.A. hospitals, comments about exclusion of autism by current private health care companies, and more questions on issues that continue to be a source of confusion for many. Read below some of what we heard and let us know your thoughts:
We already have government health care. It's called the V.A. hospital. Ask any of our injured soldiers who laid it all on the line for their country if they are happy with the lack of treatment or run down facilities they had to endure. If we think (government funded) health care is going to be better, think again...
Thirty-six states allow health insurance providers to specifically exclude treatment for children with Autism which violates their fundamental human rights. They only approve treatment for restoring functions to the disabled, including self-inflicted diseases caused by drinking, smoking, drugs and controllable obesity but deny essential treatment for establishing functions for these innocent children who will never reach their potential or learn to communicate. Autistic children suffer irreversible damage to their health and development without early intervention. This discrimination is shameful! Is it not illegal? One in 150 children are diagnosed with Autism, which is considerably more than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.
Some facts for you - I am an anesthesiologist with 30 years experience, in Southfield Michigan. Medicare now pays me 30% less than private insurance pays for anesthesia care. Obviously the elderly are harder to manage and carry more risk, for anesthesiologists because of their fragility and concomitant disease. We are paid less, however, to take care of them. I am though paid well in the aggregate so it is worth it to me to work a 60 hour week and take night calls 5 times a month, where I stay up all night many times without a break. If a public option takes hold and pays the Medicare rate I cannot do this. That epidural at 3AM on 15 minutes notice will not happen. No medical student in their right mind with $200,000 worth of debt will pick the anesthesia field if they feel the compensation is not worth the extra 5 years of training and the complex challenge and stress which goes with the job. Other high stress and complex specialties will dry up also. Ask Dr. Gupta how many Neurosurgeons will work for low wages. In the end medicine is no different than anything else. You do get just what you pay for. There is no free lunch in America.
I am hearing so many different stories and rumors about how the elderly will be treated under the health care reform. Can someone provide the actual facts?
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