I was visiting my grandparents the other day. We were just sitting around talking about what had been happening in each other’s lives. My grandmother was telling me all the local gossip and my grandfather was interrupting her every minute trying to tell her story for her. When the conversation turned to politics and how they were so very excited that President Obama had been re-elected. During this conversation they told me about how much he had helped them during the last term with Medicare.
How his policies had saved them tons of money and how the new health care bill was going to save them even more money. I just politely agreed and changed the subject. I really wanted to say something about it but it wasn’t worth arguing about with them. So this subject has been weighing heavily on my mind. I don’t believe that Obama care (as it has been coined) will really help my grandparents all that much and it scares me. You see my grandparents have always been blue collar workers.
They have worked hard for everything that they have. They didn’t work for any big companies for 20 or 30 years. They were small business owners and farmers. They were never able to put back a nest egg. My grandmother is Seventy one and my grandfather is 72. My grandfather has emphysema and borderlines on type two diabetes and is un-able to work. Therefore my grandmother gets up five days a week and goes to work for 8 hours to support herself and her husband. Every dollar my grandparents have comes from hard work and sacrifice.
They have both paid into the government for years and years and they depend on Medicare to take care of them when they get sick. With this new health care bill there are conflicting stories about whether or not someone can be turned down due to their condition. Another words if someone is on the brink of death is it worth paying a doctor to keep them alive for another three months. Now there are not a group of people in Washington sitting around a table deciding who lives or who dies.
But there is what is called Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board which according to President Obama Is an unelected group of health care experts, doctors, etcetera, to figure out, how to reduce the cost of care in the system overall. This sounds innocent enough, especially in a nation with a 16 trillion dollar deficit. I think we should be trying to save every dollar we can. But I don’t think it should be up to the government to decide what medical treatments are too expensive or are “un-necessary”.
You may be thinking that this won’t happen, that the government wouldn’t tell us what is too expensive or what treatments are un-necessary. But if cost comes into the equation at any time I believe that it will. For example, in 2009, the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (that’s a panel charged with reviewing evidence and making recommendations for preventive services) changed their guidance on best practices for screening women for breast cancer, suggesting that women in their 40s should not have annual mammograms and older women should reduce the use of this screening device.
The change was justified based on the high number of false positives in the prevailing testing regime, which led to lots of unnecessary stress and procedures for relatively few lives saved. Is it really the governments place to decide that it is better to have one women die from not having an exam than to give 500 un-necessary procedures? This kind of thinking is what scares me about Obama care. I want to know that my grandparents will get the care that they need because they have paid their dues for many years and are putting their faith into the Presidents promises. I hope that it all isn’t in vain.