States’ af­fairs

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

Thank you for your re­cent ar­ti­cle: “The states go march­ing in” on Feb. 15, (p. 6). It so­lid­i­fies my con­cern not only as a cit­i­zen but also as a health­care provider in re­gards to the cur­rent health­care re­form law.

As you pointed out, there are a num­ber of states in op­po­si­tion to the rec­om­men­da­tions be­ing of­fered, so much so that they are in the process of tak­ing le­gal ac­tion. As Re­becca Ve­sely stated, “Most of these state pre-emp­tion bills were filed just af­ter the new year.” This fur­ther con­cludes, in my opin­ion, how pas­sion­ate we have come in op­po­si­tion to the re­form. The ideas con­tained in the re­form law have not even been im­ple­mented, and the states feel the need to take im­me­di­ate ac­tion.

Ms. Ve­sely also has ex­posed the in­con­sis­tency with the leg­isla­tive pro­grams. How can the govern­ment guar­an­tee fund­ing fed­eral pro­gram man­dates for one state and not an­other? How can one not feel their con­sti­tu­tional rights are be­ing im­pinged upon when one is re­quired to pur­chase health­care or at risk of be­ing fined a per­cent­age of their in­come? At the same time, I am ex­tremely concerned about the re­im­burse­ment is­sues that will come into play in my own com­mu­nity hos­pi­tal. I am also concerned about the domino ef­fect that it will have on pa­tient care as well as staffing and job se­cu­rity.

I do ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­forts be­ing taken by dif­fer­ent states to ef­fec­tively re­form pro­grams at the state level. These pro­grams in­her­ently want to sup­port the in­di­vid­u­als and their care with­out ad­di­tional and ex­tra­ne­ous strains on the tax­pay­ers and/or busi­ness. BadgerCare Plus Ba­sic in Wis­con­sin is a ba­sic health plan that most healthy peo­ple would en­joy for a pre­mium of $130. Ore­gon and Utah both want to ex­pand the ex­change pro­grams that would en­com­pass the work force and in­surance pro­grams. Thank you for ac­knowl­edg­ing their ef­forts. I am quite sure, given the proper sup­port, most states would be able to clean up, en­hance or do away with clut­tered pro­grams that are no longer ef­fec­tive. This, in turn, would not only lend a hand to­ward the fi­nan­cial bur­dens, but also sup­port the au­ton­omy of in­di­vid­u­als and the states.

Ms. Ve­sely pointed out that “news broke that An­them Blue Cross of Cal­i­for­nia, a Wel­lPoint sub­sidiary, planned to raise rates on the in­di­vid­ual mar­ket by up to 39%, set­ting off a firestorm in Washington and in Sacra­mento.” This should send a firestorm through­out the coun­try. This shows once again the greed and will­ing­ness to push the lim­its by some in­di­vid­u­als/or­ga­ni­za­tions. No mat­ter what rules, poli­cies or rec­om­men­da­tions come into play, some­one will al­ways want to ma­nip­u­late the sys­tem or work around the rules.

I don’t think that any­one with com­pas­sion or a con­science de­nies the fact that we need health­care re­form in this coun­try. Un­for­tu­nately, care and care­tak­ers come with a price. If we as a coun­try don’t se­ri­ously con­sider ev­ery as­pect of each level of re­form, we are des­tined for fail­ure. Even if ev­ery in­ten­tion is good, the mas­sive change be­ing gen­er­ated through this law is set­ting us up for chaos and fi­nan­cial ruin.

I would like to thank your pub­li­ca­tion for ex­pos­ing pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive el­e­ments of this re­form that we as a coun­try are fac­ing. Theresa Thet­ford

Nurs­ing stu­dent Uni­ver­sity of Texas at El Paso

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