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Health Care

            HEALTHCARE REFORM In the United States, more than forty million people are without health insurance. Of these people, many are employed by firms that do not offer coverage and many others fall just below the poverty line. Many are poor but still do not qualify for Medicaid. At least twelve million of those without health insurance are children. Reliable sources indicate that the number of uninsured people could rise as high as sixty million by the year 2007. There is also a dilemma that the insured United States citizens face, that their healthcare system is sick, and everyone is aware of its illness: profit. In 1997, Malike Hassan's, an HMO stockholdings CEO, salary was 166.4 million dollars. Most experts agree that the lack of plan participants' personal involvement in the healthcare system is largely responsible for inflation within the plans. However, as the debate rages on about how to best resolve the issues, it is certain that, as individuals become more involved in the healthcare process, they become an integral part of the solution. If people wish to change the system, they must change their role in healthcare reform from passive to active. In order to bring unification and unconstrained functionality to the U.S. healthcare system, people must first educate themselves on how their healthcare works, voice their opinions, and finally join together to bring reform. The first action people must take to insure their own well being and safety is to stay thoroughly informed on how their HMO plans run. Managed care is often criticized for encouraging the withholding of beneficial care from patients. People need to be aware that many HMOs contain Gag Rules. These rules, in contracts between managed-care organizations and physicians, expressly prohibit the physician from telling patients about therapies that are not covered by the plan. Therefore, the physicians are not part of the decision making process involved in determining what services to provide.

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