Tuesday, April 1, 2014

altman pts 2-3

This section of the book went into more detail of the specific laws that have been attempted or passed on the subject of healthcare reform.  Among these laws was the Hill-Burton act, which had something to do with the government funding of hospitals. It was Interesting to see how certain court cases like the one involving Marilyn Rose can expand the powers of a bill.  I was surprised at the effect this law could have on individuals such as the pregnant woman who was sued for overstaying her medicaid coverage at a hospital.  This section also gave insight to the intense amount of politics in many of these bills.  The efforts of the AMA in denying the surgeon general's conclusions on smoking and cancer to win a congressman's support was especially shocking.  It was also interesting to see the role of race on the southern states acceptance of federal controlled health, as seen in the pursual of Wilbur Mills vote. Aside from the legislative pressures, the sections also discuss the financial issues with the bill after it passed, such as the federal "matching" of state funds that could result in the federal government bearing close to 75% of the burden in some cases.  This results in the annual $2.5 trillion we currently spend on healthcare.   This turned out to be a problem, especially in recession years.  The magnitude comparison Altman gives in section 3 on the size of a trillion was eye-opening.  Through this section Altman goes over the specific variables that make cost control so difficult for the American Health care system.  Altman concludes the section by comparing the present prices of the US healthcare system to the costs of other developed countries: it is apparent that there needs to be a change.

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