Healthcare Passes: Changes Due for Little Patients?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Senate has passed health care reform. Dr. Irwin Redlener, president of the Children's Health Fund and Professor at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, reflects on this moment and looks at what in the bill will affect children throughout the US. Plus, he provides an update on H1N1 vaccine recalls around the region and looks back at the biggest health stories of the year.


Dr. Irwin Redlener

Comments [13]

david ores md from New York City

Why do Health Insurance Companies need to exist? Seriously. What service do they provide for anyone?

Dec. 24 2009 02:11 PM

In addition:

For this operation, I had one of the top surgeons in one of the top hospitals.

An insurance co. rep told me, "He asked for $7,000, and we paid him $1,000, and he accepted the payment."

Something seems way, way wrong there too.

Dec. 24 2009 10:40 AM

The current system's paperwork is enormous.

I've a phone-book-sized pile of hospital bills and insurance co. missives (indecipherable), The operation was over a year ago, and the anesthesiologist still hasn't been paid. Each time I call the Insurance co., it's seemingly a simple matter--"Oh, they didn't put in the right code numbers in the right box." Yet it goes on month after month.

It's all way, way more complex than it should be. No normal person or business can handle it. Let alone make "free market" choices.

Dec. 24 2009 10:38 AM
Elizabeth Payne from New York City

Further to the caller from CT, and the response; when one is on Medicare, there is no option to file a claim with Medicare if one's doctor has opted out of Medicare, and more and more docs are doing that. Further, one must sign paperwork promising NOT to file with Medicare. This means that for the purposes of my employer's health plan, I am paying Medicare premiums and not able to even file a claim. I think that we should be able to claim the amount that Medicare will pay regardless of whether the doc 'participates', just as with other health insurance.

Dec. 24 2009 10:33 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I'm a freelancer too, but I have health insurance through the Editorial Freelancers Association. Unfortunately, the organization can't offer coverage everywhere. How would either bill affect people who get their insurance through associations? (I'm holding on the phone, but it doesn't sound as if I'm going to get through!)

Dec. 24 2009 10:32 AM
Ivan from Rockland County, NY

The caller is right. We shouldn't know only the German health care system. If the information was enough there wouldn't be the myths that are circulating around and not only in conservative/republican/center circles. You, Americans, need to learn what health care civilized people - not just Germans - have, and see if it could work for you. Looking around it would seem that it should. Unless you are a different species.

Dec. 24 2009 10:32 AM
Nick from manhattan

re: caller from CT.

Those who see doctors who dont take insurance do so because they can afford it.

Others switch doctors; ive switched doctors several times as i switched Insurance. Its not the end of the world (for me--Im young and healthy).

FOr major illnesses, obviously this is more of an issue.

Dec. 24 2009 10:29 AM
oe from ny

most commentators seem to focus on lowering the cost of insurance premiums. you can't lower premiums without attacking the price of treatment. the root of the problem is our medical methodology. where is the incentives to lower these costs? we live in a society where hospitals spend money on marketing. i'm am disgusted everytime i see or hear an ad for a hospital. what a waste of money...and we are all paying for it

Dec. 24 2009 10:28 AM
Jay from Sunnyside

Under the current (lack of) system, I (as an independent person) go out on the free market to find the best insurance for the price. Theoretically, the free market should encourage the insurer to give me high quality at a good rate in order to encourage me to become their customer. What I don't see is how, under the insurance pool system, where I am now mandated to buy insurance, the providers have any real incentive to offer high quality and low price. I don't see how forcing everybody to buy from a single place is any different than my going out to compare the 5-6 companies on my own. To me, I still will not be part of a group. Yes, the market will grow dramatically, but how does that help me as the insured?

Dec. 24 2009 10:24 AM
Eric Singer from Pittsburgh, PA

What does this bill due for middle-aged middle-class people (esp. with kids) who are independently employed, and when do any applicable provisions kick in?

Dec. 24 2009 10:23 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

The caller who just claimed "the mainstream media doesn't cover healthcare in Western Europe" might want to look up a NY Times piece (on Sept. 29) which explained the German system in a Q&A format, then had dozens of comments from readers to which Princeton Prof. Uwe Reinhardt responded. I don't think what the caller claimed is true. The information is out there.

Dec. 24 2009 10:21 AM
Robert from NYC

This guy is right. What works elsewhere has not been touched on enough. Thank you Francis.

Dec. 24 2009 10:17 AM

Shame on the Republican Party. Obama bent over backwards to work with them and they've fought him tooth and nail every step of the way. The Republicans are a national disgrace.

Dec. 24 2009 09:25 AM

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