TIME FOR A CHANGE
“This is an issue that affects the health and financial well-being of every single American and the stability of our entire economy.”
—BARACK H. OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
As this issue goes to press, passage of President Obama’s controversial health care reform plan has experienced a brief setback, as the Senate has decided to postpone addressing this issue until after a month-long August recess. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) explained that the Senate Finance Committee has asked for more time to study the bill, which the President now is pushing toward complete passage by the year’s end. Taking advantage of the postponement, opponents of the bill have ramped up their attack campaigns to block its passage, citing the bill’s complexities and unfair expenses that will be incurred by taxpayers who will pay for this program, as the fundamental reasons for its certain demise.
Why is there so much opposition to a national health care plan? Many people fear they will be unfairly taxed, small businesses will fail under the tax burdens, and they will no longer have the freedom to choose their medical providers. The average insurance policy now carries a cost anywhere from $400 to $1,200 per month, which is a financial impossibility for many of the more than 47 million Americans who are now living without health care coverage. Others are denied coverage on the basis of previously existing conditions. When these individuals become ill, often their only choice is to seek help in their local hospital’s emergency department, where they are administered health care at premium costs. The reality is that taxpayers are already footing these bills.
Another looming concern of many individuals across the nation is that America will embrace socialized medicine. The fact is health care programs for civil servants, federal employees, and senior citizens are all based on a “socialized” system (think Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration). The President’s bill is not promoting a socialized coverage system, it is the first step in providing a public option of affordable health care for those who, for whatever reason, do not have health care coverage. Also, it moves the country in the direction of examining and improving a system that has long been in need of renovation.
In this uncertain economy of folding business, disappearing jobs, and increasing cost of living (health care coverage has increased three times faster than wages over the last few decades), President Obama called the for Congress to work with him on health care reform, as it is “essential to repairing the economy.”
The President makes a good point.
By making the decision to provide all Americans the option of health care coverage, legislators can address other national concerns, such as economy, national security, and environmental issues.
What are your questions and concerns regarding President Obama’s health care plan and its potential effects on the physical therapy industry? Give us your comments and we will publish them in our next issue.
—ROGENA SCHUYLER SILVERMAN
Editor’s Note:Don’t miss Rehab Management‘s annual Wheelchair Cushion Showcase, featured in this issue. Also, for additional information on mobility equipment and providers, see Options in Mobility from the July issue.
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