Monday, February 14, 2005

Thoughts on Health Care

A friend of mine forwarded an e-mail to me this weekend encouraging recipients to join a petition here to urge consideration by Congress and passage of the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act. I was not familiar with this bill and am somewhat suspicious by nature so I checked snopes and found this.
Naturally I have a couple of thoughts on this.
My first reaction was that the legislation is unneccessary. Since I got out of the Navy I have often heard attending physicians and administrators tell patients that Medicare or whatever payer was covering their hospitalization was going to kick the patient out after so many days or hours. It isn't true. It is true that at some point the attending physician may need to attest that the patient continues to require acute care, but I've never seen a payer discharge or order the discharge of a patient. It isn't even plausible as they aren't licensed to practice medicine. What I have seen is some physicians who perhaps chose the path of least resistance and who perhaps hastened a patient's discharge with potentially adverse consequences, but that's really a separate issue.
The larger issue to my mind is that Congresswoman DeLauro (D-CT) has been submitting this bill in every Congressional session since the 105th (1997) and the bill hasn't even got past sub-committee! Aren't there any Republican women? My wife just went for a mammogram today. A friend from work is having a mastectomy on Wednesday. Another young woman, still in her twenties, just had bilateral mastectomies shortly after giving birth. So... to what kind of people is this bill not even worthy of consideration? Eight years and it's never come to a vote!

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