Wednesday, October 28, 2009

slow down health reform train

A Washington Post poll this week showed that Americans have warmed to a public option in health insurance overhaul (57 % supported it) and liberal lawmakers are pressing to insert a government-run plan in legislation being hashed out.

But the message was much the opposite this morning on the U.S. Capitol lawn from a trio of Missouri physicians, accompanied by a fearful patient, aligned with the Coalition to Protect Patient Rights.

The coalition, which calls itself a nonpartisan grassroots organization and claims 10,000 members, has delivered a consistent anti-public option message and urged a deliberate pace in altering the health insurance system.

“This sure looks like a fast train to nowhere,” said Dr. John Krause, an orthopedic surgeon from Chesterfield, noting that his nine years in the military (Air Force) left him aware of potential problems of more government involvement in health care.

Echoed Des Peres dentist Dennis Munson: “The government wants you to step aside from your personal responsibility and they will take care of you.”

Concern about care is what prompted Michelle Burke, of St. Louis, a heart patient for nine years, to join more than 100 physicians and nurses, many clad in their professional whites.

“I have a great relationship with my doctor,” she said, adding her worry that deeper government involvement in medicine could end it.

Dr. Geoffrey Beale, a radiologist from Columbia, said he understood one of the speaker’s exhortation for Congress to start all over in crafting a new health insurance system.

“So what?” he asked. “Isn’t it more important to get it right than get it fast? We know that if we don’t get it right, government is not going to turn right around and fix it.”

Beale and the others planned to take their messages to offices of Missouri senators and several House members.

Negotiations are underway that could lead to legislation with a public option — an as-yet undefined government entity that would compete with health insurers. A much-publicized Senate bill that passed the Finance Committee earlier this month did not contain a public option.

But a move is afoot to add the public provision in negotiations, and moderate Democrats are being pressured to accept a version of a public plan perhaps with a provision allowing states to opt out.

No comments:

Post a Comment