Thursday, November 04, 2004

Managed Care

Every week, my parents have me over for dinner at least once. My mom is a fabulous cook and getting a delicious, wholesome meal is good for the soul. Plus, my parents are always good for some interesting conversations.

One of the topics we tend to return to whenever my Dad is in a dour mood is the completely ineffecient system of managed health care. My Dad contends that the government needs to socialize the healthcare system and most importantly, standardize all of the paperwork. What's shocking is that my Dad is actually a relatively conservative/Republican guy. He liked Ronald Reagan quite a bit, although he didn't vote for Bush this time around.

Anyway, when I read news stories about managed care trying to screw health professionals, I get very cranky about it. I remember that my Dad was involved in a class-action suit against BCBS and after all the costs were taken care of, I think every doctor received about $1000, which was not even close to the money that was stolen from them by BCBS.

I'm always saying to my Dad that the AMA is a weak lobby. Medicine in many parts of the nation is in crisis because doctors accepted piss poor treatment for so long without fighting back against a system that wants to pay them as little as possible for doing the work they do. Without fighting back, the inevitable happened—they started getting paid less than the people administering the insurance and too little to pay the overhead for their offices, training and insurance.

Out of everything the candidates talked about leading up to this election season, I desperately hope that this is one of the sleeper issues that will inspire some debate in Congress and some progressive legislation to protect physicians and other health care workers against the avarice of some insurance companies and frivalous law suits. And I'm not one of those people who thinks that all law suits brought against physicians are stupid, because there are definately cases of gross malpractice and getting those people out of medicine should be the paramount concern of doctors and patients alike. But, the qualified and concerned docs shouldn't have to pay for the sins of their defective brethren.

I might eventually post some thoughts on the election over on my other blog, if you're not avoiding all political discussions like the plague. :)