The Great Healthcare Debate

I was looking around rasmussenreports.com to see if there were any indications of a bounce for McCain after the convention (I know, less than 24 hours afterward is next to impossible to tell) and I stumbled across a table that showed who trusts the candidates more on what issues. I’ll tackle them in seperate entries (because I wouldn’t want to completely bore you to tears) but I found some astonishing information in certain areas.First, let me point out that I’ve been working in the healthcare services industry for the past five years. I’ve held responsibilities ranging from claims processing to staffing. I’m not a healthcare professional like a doctor, nurse, or therapist for example, but I think my work in the trenches warrants these thoughts.At this time, Barack Obama is trusted more on healthcare, 53% to 37%. Democrats have been trusted more with healthcare for as long as I can remember when I got involved in elections (1996). The Democrats’ advocacy for socialized healthcare has been one of their main rallying cries and I have to wonder if this is what America really wants. If it is, and should Obama win and get enough votes in the House and Senate to initiate it, there are going to be a ton if problems.John McCain may not be able to overtake Obama on this issue, but he can be proactive and make people think about how disastrous socialized healthcare can be, and score some points. Maybe McCain already has these in mind, maybe he doesn’t. I have a feeling at least some of them will come out during the debates, but he should pay attention because something tells me the Obama campaign will make this the cornerstone of their White House efforts.1-How are we going to pay for this?For some reason, I’ve never seen many Republicans ask how this can be done financially. Of course the only thing Democrats can say is to raise taxes and make other signifigant cuts. McCain needs to put pressure on Obama to define where the extra taxes and signifigant cuts are coming from.

2-How is the federal government prepared to deal with the hundreds of thousands of workers who will be affected by the government takeover of healthcare?This is a big issue for myself and many other Americans who work for private insurance companies and other sectors of this market such as healthcare staffing companies. Will we be guaranteed our jobs? How will this affect our wages and current benefit programs?

3-How are we going to handle the enormous burden of processing and paying claims? Will every claim be paid? Will people be able to appeal denied claims?This is another issue with me. I’ve worked for a company that designed web-based programs and software for pre-authorization and claims submission. How will the government handle this undertaking? Furthermore, is this a guarantee that all services are covered? Will people have to go through the same federal government that can barely give you correct answers on social security and IRS questions going to be handling this?

4-What will you do to avoid the failures in countries that have socialized healthcare like Canada and Great Britain?In my very first job working with a company contracted by the government to pay Medicare claims, I would receive at least 10 calls a day by Canadian residents asking what they can do to get on Medicare. You never hear on the news about the long wait times in hospitals, and how long people are waiting to see doctors about relatively simple injuries and illnesses? A Candian resident once told me she broke her wrist and had to wait three weeks to see a doctor. In a world where we keep hearing America can do better, we can sure do better than that.

5-Is everyone going to be covered?This would be the kicker, and this will help point out exactly how expensive this will be. If Obama (and the left for that matter) can provide details on how they can make this work, then they deserve all the credit in the world. The big issue with the Obama campaign, is that the only specifics they can claim is “McCain is a third Bush term.”
It’s time we apply the pressure to Obama and Biden, and make them get past rhetoric and get into specifics. And, we need to hold McCain and Palin to the same standard. After all, when elections are about issues, conservatism always prevails. When they are about generalities and bumper stickers, liberalism prevails.