20081016

Healthcare CON and more, being researched....

Well, I'm doing my homework on this con called a Certificate of Need (the CON) that seems to affect our healthcare up here. Lucky me, when I first moved up here I was in the military and therefore had Tri-Care to back me up for all my medical needs. Theres good and bad things about government run health care. I must say, the government can't do it right with the military, I'd hate to see how they'd screw it up for everybody under an Obama/Biden administration...

...which brings us to the Fairbanks Socialized medicine program in the form of Banner Health, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, and Tananna Valley Clinic. Thus far, I think my wife and I have received good health care when it comes to the medical side of things. However, on the billing and insurance side, the bureaucracy, we've had major problems that weren't uncovered until a collections agency sent us a letter on behalf of one of the hospitals. NOT that the way you want to find out about clerical errors that happened when a procedure didn't get billed to your health insurance provider properly.

However, a recent survey finds that most people have found the health care in this area wanting, and that its far more expensive than flying down to the lower 48 and getting the same procedure done. Or they find that we only have one specialist in this entire state (in Anchorage) while clinics in the lower 48 might have seven or eight specialists... whom are competing for your business... Which won't happen here due to a Certificate of Need program that wipes out any choice by the patient and sets up a "community owned hospital" that cannot have any competition from outside sources. Logic being that competition would endanger health care for the community... SO the second largest city in the state of Alaska cannot have more than one hospital according to the CON.

I come from Colorado Springs, we had at least three major hospitals... And Colorado has NO CON. Competition breeds lower health care costs, and increases the quality of health care due to the fact that a bad hospital will suffer. This brings in good care management process, careful billing practices, and reduces sloppy medicine. Not to mention, allows patients to go down the street to another hospital to get a second opinion from someone not working for the same HMO (Banner Health...).

So, I'm planning on naming names, and doing some research. Recommendations for the Simple Analysis Cartoon are more than welcome! I just want to thank our North Pole State Representative John Coghill for his effort to remove this CON and get us better health care the good ol' fashioned American way, through removing a monopoly and allowing competition to breed higher quality health care!

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