Should the Health Reform Legislation be Repealed?
Health Reform Legislation
The question of whether healthcare reform legislation will be enacted has been resolved. The question now becomes what to do with the parts with which the public is unhappy. There has been a movement to repeal the healthcare reform legislation that has been enacted. I feel this is a bad decision as there are parts of the legislation that made sense and had wide support. The chances of repealing legislation in its entirety and particularly this legislation I feel is slim to none given the present congressional environment. Another point to make is the size of the legislation which would make it difficult to evaluate the various parts and make a decision to keep or repeal it.
Repealing legislation in the past has been difficult at best but it has been accomplished. I do not always agree or disagree with decisions or potential decisions being discussed by our elected officials but repealing this legislation in its entirety is a big mistake. Before this legislation was enacted there were reports that 80% of it had wide support. This kind of support is great for any legislation and the hard work that went into the health care reform would be lost by completely repealing the legislation. Another point to make is that given the present environment if the majority party would change it would be difficult for legislation repealing the health care reform bill to be signed into law with the present administration.
Action regarding the health care reform legislation must begin with actually reading the document but doing so in segments to grasp the negative and positive aspects. Some actions have been or are being taken to make changes to some of the content based on the impact they will have in specific cases. One of these is the issue of the reduction in Medicare payments to physicians. Legislation was passed to delay the implementation of a 21% reduction for payments to doctors who see Medicare patients. While this action is temporary until November 2010 this issue needs to be addressed in a more permanent manner. Granted this raises the cost of the original legislation but this aspect at least temporary will assure that there will be Medicare doctors available for those who need them.
Payments to physicians is only one issue of many that may yet surface in this election year as Congress and both parties position themselves to address specific aspects of the health reform legislation. Health care reform is needed but it remains whether the current legislation will remain intact or will have changes. Some statements have been made by Congressional leaders that there is still more work to be done and I agree. The question is what needs to be addressed in the future and how will it affect the current content of the present legislation
The healthcare industry is a major segment of our economy and any action that has been taken impacts or will impact this segment of the economy for actions taken in the future. Any actions being considered in the future must consider the impact it will have on various aspects and individuals. This includes not only the cost to the government but to individuals and the availability of healthcare to get necessary treatment. Whatever decisions that are made by elected officials one key aspect must be in place. Legislation on this important topic and others must be read and understood before votes are taken. Good decisions can only be made when documents are read and understood first before either voting or signing. It makes more sense to read and understand any document before making a decision since changing it after the fact, if the option is available takes more time and in some cases costs more money. Doing something right the first time avoids unnecessary actions and creates a better environment to make good decisions.
Granted healthcare and other major topics are most likely to be topics of discussion between opponents in this election year. Candidates will need to explain their position on issues important to voters to gain their vote. Those who cannot explain their actions to the satisfaction of voters will have trouble getting elected. Election year politics are different than other years in that candidates running for office are concerned about getting elected and in this respect issues that may otherwise be addressed in off years may be delayed. The voters of this country are smart and do not forget. Much of the health reform legislation is unpopular with the voting public and this unpopularity will have an impact on the upcoming election.
The last point I want to make concerning this and other legislation is that laws are passed which sometimes have an impact that was not intended. The health reform legislation is no different but the key to making changes according to the process is to generate another piece of legislation aimed at correcting some of the untended consequences. This is done many times during a legislative session but what does not usually happen is a complete repeal of legislation enacted into law. This is what the opponents of this legislation must understand. It is easier to make changes incrementally rather than repealing an entire piece of legislation. Many times legislation which becomes law has some support for specific elements and there are some elements which sometimes need to be changed at times to address any untended impact of the content. Therefore it would not serve a good purpose to take steps to repeal this legislation in its entirety but to address those that need to be changed to help the availability and affordability of health care. Let us hope those elected in November take this approach.
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