Quote from dthfytr
Keep in mind that the whole controversy about health care reform boils (pun intended) down to the haves vs the have nots.
To borrow a phrase, "we need guarenteed healthcare, not insurance."
Obama and that Pelosi woman can call this new law anything they want, but it is more about insurance reform (or beating down insurance companies, if you will), than anything else. However just as with the banking industry, anyone who believes the large insurance and healthcare networks are going to roll over and play dead just because Washington D.C. says so, is in for a large shock.
Every single hospital, healthcare network, doctor group and doctor in priviate practice is going over this new law with a fine toothed comb to see where and how it affects them. Hospitals and healthcare networks may very well welcome a new large influx of patients, but depending how much it costs to treat said persons, and how much they are reimbursed and or "make" in terms of profit or loss is going to drive the bottom line. My wager is a whole lot of people are going to finally get insurance, which is good, but then find out even with coverage they still are going to have to dig deep into their pockets to pay for what insurance would not or does not pay for in full.
Medicare and Medicaid are expensive plans for both doctors and hospitals due to the massive paperwork and other compliance rules, all for well below what a hospital's or doctor's normal billing rate. Until now those costs have been recouped by demanding higher rates from insurance companies, but there are already whispers in the wind that practice may not go on much longer. Bottom line is most insurance companies are for profit businesses, and if they cannot do so, their share prices drop, and the company goes bye-bye.
My worry is for bedside nurses being caught up in the middle of all this. Advanced practice nurses will go off and do their thing, while hosptials claim there is a "shortage of nurses", and start to peel yet more functions away and create yet more unlicensed personnel to "help" with said shortage. There is also the very real threat that the nurse to patient ratio will grow larger, and or working conditions so bad nurses will head for the hills in droves.