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    Congress swings and misses on healthcare reform efforts

    For me, the official arrival of spring comes with the new baseball season, that long stretch starting in April and ending around November.


    Further reading: What AHCA's failure means for physicians


    But it is another drawn-out contest that has my attention these days, as the re-energized Republican Elephants take on the recently demoralized Democratic Donkeys in one of the longest ongoing games of the past decade: healthcare reform.

    Both teams have lost big sluggers over the years, retooled with young upstarts and most of the action still occurs outside the “field” of Congress, swapping sound bites and snipes at who will emerge victorious at the end of the contest. Fans on both sides continue to argue ad nauseam on radio and in the comment sections of websites over who is truly the better squad, often with rationale that makes one’s head spin. 

    I have loved baseball for as long as I can remember, but as I get older, I have the same problems with those who play our national pastime that I have with our national representatives in government.  Both tend to forget about the people who pay their salaries after a little time in the spotlight. 

    In the contest over healthcare reform, Republicans are appealing right to their fan base. The political rallying cry, “you deserve better” is repeated over and over again before thousands in small towns and big cities. But a closer look at the playbook—the American Health Care Act—begs the question of who the “you” is. 


    Blog: Healthcare only "safe" when physicians work for patients


    It doesn’t appear to be Medicaid patients, many of whom will lose coverage. It doesn’t even appear to be the majority of those who’ve gained healthcare coverage in recent years (and may have voted Republican in the last election), but face uncertainty when it comes to their care. And it certainly doesn’t mean the nearly 1 million U.S. physicians who will yet again, see a fluctuating patient panel.

    Next: Dems can step up to the bat


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    • Anonymous
      Excuse me, but are you a doctor? I find it interesting which quotes you led with in your headlines. Do you want another baseball analogy? Many with Obamacare "coverage" can't get to first base with the bat they've been given. In Michigan-- a state that drank the kool aide and expanded Medicaid-- that is costing millions, if not billions-- in ER visits. Can't get in to the doctor for your sore throat, sprained ankle, or UTI? Well, go to ER-- cuz now you have "coverage". The only entities that benefitted from the Medicaid expansion were the hospitals. Not the patients-- many of whom could afford to pay cash at a reduced rate (at urgent care or FP clinics--and I know because we used to see them)but now have a card that isn't accepted because the strings attached are too burdensome for the average physician. These high costs of Medicaid are unsustainable and Obamacare was going to bail out if its commitment in 2020 anyway. The increased reimbursements to physicians already expired. Let's remember that all of this was going to implode in a few months time, anyway. I see some extolling the virtues( and Bernie Sanders battle cry) of "Medicare for all!" First of all, who has only Medicare? I don't have a single patient with just Medicare. They are all either paying to supplement or they meet criteria for additional Medicaid coverage. My parents were shelling out another $1000/month for their insurance --with Medicare. Second, Medicare will be bankrupt in 11 years. For the one that commented that the lawmakers should have to get whatever they propose-- did she say that with Obamacare? As I recall, Nancy Pelosi exempted herself and all the Dems who voted for that crap from the Cadillac tax. And when the UAW and teachers union toppled the doors of the Whitehouse, threatening to withdraw their special interest pay offs to politicians, they were exempted too. Where is your journalistic integrity in covering this? When extolling the virtues of single payer, a minimal amount of research will find that these systems are crumbling and that people pay extra for insurance that gives them access to private hospitals, more accessible care. This goes for our neighbor to the North.And/or such countries are seeing an influx of immigrants with HIV, for example, to access "free" care, bankrupting their own coffers. I invite you to Detroit where I can introduce you to an FP who is having some challenge getting her patients ( many on Medicaid)in to dialysis clinics. Much of the problem is due to overcrowding with patients coming across the bridge/thru the tunnel from Canada, where waits for dialysis are so long, they will cross the border and pay out of pocket for their care. Put your BU degree to work and do some research. You should probably stay away from editorializing on something about which you lack expertise. Jumping from medical magazine to medical magazine does not count as real world experience.
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