medsIt’s the hot topic in Washington and the main theme of President Obama’s many different Web and television broadcasts. It’s health care form, and it’s been used as a political power card for over a decade by more than one campaigner and incumbent. But is talking about it -however endlessly- the way to bring about medical changes? Seriously, what’s health care reform really going to do for you?

Okay, so the system doesn’t really work. You don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to know that paying high premiums on policies that don’t provide a lot of coverage is a less-than-desirable situation. The simple truth is, health care costs too much. It’s too expensive to stay in a hospital (average cost for one day: $3,000 to $5,000) and costs too much to maintain health insurance (average monthly cost for families in 2004, $829 per month). This is where health care reform supposedly comes in.

President Obama has proposed that there is a need to make health care more affordable by making health insurance more competitive. By offering a public option program (government-sponsored), health care companies will have no choice but to reduce their rates and costs. Here’s the problem: the health care industry as a whole still charges way too much for even the most basic of treatments. It’s not necessarily insurance that needs reform, it’s the entire system. Paying on that policy would be a lot cheaper if the cost of care was much less. Often, reducing the cost of insurance leaves you, the insured, with substandard care because that’s all your policy is going to pay for.

What’s health care reform really going to do for you? In principle, it’s supposed to reduce the high-dollar insurance premiums you’re paying. The result could easily be less coverage, though the President poses to counter this with more emphasis on wellness and pre-screening programs. At the end of the day, surgeries and chronic illnesses are still going to require long-term care and high-dollar payouts. And who do you think is going to be footing the bill?

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