Consensus emerging on universal healthcare
One of my concerns about universal health care is that it might force providers to act against their conscience and/or force taxpayers to fund procedures that they find personally abhorrent. Another concern is that a medical bureaucracy might decide to not fund certain classes of provider (midwives, nurse-practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, osteopaths) due to pressure from the AMA and other health care unions. Will parents be forced to immunize their children to protect the herd? (I am not saying that immunizations are bad, here, but rather looking at the parent's 'freedom of choice'?). Will the Amish and other plain communities be forced to buy into commercial health insurance? Lots of questions, no clear answers. On the other hand, our current system is not very functional either. Very few persons are paid well enough or have sufficient savings to pay for routine health care, let alone a hospitalization for a major illness or a complicated childbirth or an accidental injury. And since for the last 50 years we have focused, as a culture, on high tech specialty care rather than high touch primary care, health and illness care costs have spiraled out of control. I just don't know.
I do hope and pray that whatever changes there are will help persons like my patient who was just told that her insurance won't cover care from a midwife. No matter that I am certified, licensed, work within the system and have hospital privileges. Midwives as a class are categorically excluded. And it is perfectly legal.