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Passing a Patients' Bill of Rights

Discussion in 'Open Chat' started by Irina Bristow, May 18, 2003.

  1. Irina Bristow

    Irina Bristow Rocket Ranger

    I was told to write a persuasive essay for my english class, so I took up a controversial political topic, which I thought deserved attention, and thought it might be read here! sorry no alias lol

    Resolved: That the United States Congress pass a patients’ bill of rights, including the right to sue health maintenance organizations (HMO’s).
    by: (for you people) Irina Bristow

    Imagine for a moment that it is a warm spring day; you and your wife are sitting in the stands of a baseball field watching your young son play a game of softball. You could not imagine a better life; you are an ordinary man who works at a factory and takes care of his family. Your wife and son are your world. You smile and shout as your son runs the bases; but something is not right, he stopped; watching in horror, you see your son fall to the ground with a sickening thud, echoing throughout the whole stadium. You find out your only son needs an emergency heart transplant operation that you cannot afford; your HMO will not help, and the insurance will not cover the operation. You vow to do whatever it takes to keep your son alive; with time and options running out, a desperate gamble becomes your only hope – you take the emergency room hostage. John Q., starring Denzel Washington and produced by New Line Cinema; this film, as most cinema does, takes a horrible situation to the next level. Obviously a situation like this has not yet taken place; but isn’t it a possibility, given that no one has patients’ rights, that maybe some one will take a circumstance like this to a horrendous level. Therefore, if a patient and the patient’s family were to go through a heart-wrenching condition such as this, they would not have the right to sue their HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization, which could have drove a patient to this extent. Now every patient should be guaranteed the following:
    • Guaranteed Access To Needed Health Care Specialists;
    • Access To Emergency Room Services When And Where The Need Arises;
    • Continuity Of Care Protections To Assure Patient Care will not change abruptly if their provider is dropped;
    • Access To A Timely Internal And Independent External Appeals Process for consumers to resolve their differences with their health plans;
    • A Limit On Financial Incentives To Doctors;
    • Assuring That Doctors And Patients Can Openly Discuss Treatment Options;
    • Assuring that Women Have Direct Access To An OB-GYN;
    • An Enforcement Mechanism That Ensures Recourse for Patients who have been maimed or die because of health plan actions.
    That is the comprehensive Patient’s Bill of Rights America needs and deserves. Americans have waited too long for a strong, enforceable, Patients' Bill of Rights. For five years, the senate has worked in good faith to pass a strong, enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights -- one which protects all Americans in all health plans, guarantees access to needed health care specialists and other critical health care providers, and includes an enforcement mechanism to make sure these rights are real. And for five years, the American people have waited (Democrat, 2).
    The most important and debated of that list is An Enforcement Mechanism That Ensures Recourse for Patients. An HMO or Health Management Organization is a form of health insurance combining a range of coverage’s in a group basis. A group of doctors and other medical professionals offer care through the HMO for a flat monthly rate with no deductibles. However, only visits to professionals within the HMO network are covered by the policy. The HMO must clear all visits, prescriptions and other care in order to be covered. A primary physician within the HMO handles referrals (Birenbaum, 35). Senator Bob Daschle defends the democratic bill regarding HMO’s and a patients right to sue when addressing congress in his oratory, “Our bill is a real plan; theirs is a placebo. Our bill covers every American with private health insurance; their bill leaves out 100 million Americans. Our bill lets doctors make decisions about medical treatment; their bill lets insurance company accountants call all the shots. Our bill guarantees that you see the opportunity for qualified medical specialists whenever you may need them; their bill does not. If your HMO refuses to pay for care your doctor says you need, our bill allows you to appeal that decision, to appeal that decision to an independent review board. Their bill contains an appeal process, too, but they let your HMO decide what you can appeal and hand-pick the people who make the decisions.” Now Mr. Daschle is presenting a very strong case. Why should we leave out a part of the population that deserves the right to health insurance just like anyone else? What kind of person would turn someone away that is dying of a gunshot wound because his or her HMO will not correspond? Why should hospital lawyers be the ones to make decisions regarding life or death?
    The senate democrats have been trying to pass this bill with no help from the republicans. A compromise outlines reasonable criteria and time frames for initial claims review and internal appeals procedures. It also creates a timely and independent external review process that assures individuals a fair and unbiased decision. When patients have medical emergencies, the review process can be expedited. Neither party can select the external review entity nor can neither unilaterally delay the review process by withholding needed information. Reviewers are free to make an independent determination about whether care is needed and are not bound by plan decisions or policies. And patients have legal recourse if the managed care plan does not comply with the decision of the external review entity (Democrat, 1).
    On Wednesday, July 15, 1998, former President Bill Clinton made one of his more memorable speeches dealing with the passage of a Patient’s Bill of Rights, he stated, “To ensure that every American is protected by a Patients' Bill of Rights, Congress must also act. In the remaining days left in this legislative session, I call on the Congress once again to pass a strong, enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights, a bill that guarantees access to specialists, so people with cancer, heart disease, and other life-threatening illnesses get the care they need, a bill that guarantees continuity of care, so pregnant women can have the same doctor throughout their pregnancy, even if that doctor is dropped from a plan, a bill that makes these rights real by guaranteeing a remedy to people who have been injured or lost family members as a result of a bad decision.” Patients need protections now -- because delay has real consequences. Studies indicate that each day Americans are forced to wait for a strong Patients Bill of Rights leaves 35,000 patients without the access to specialty care they need and results in 10,000 physicians seeing patients who have been harmed because a plan refused a diagnostic test. This is unacceptable (Democrat, 2).
    In June, the U.S. Senate passed a strong Patients' Bill of Rights with real, enforceable protections. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has passed, with President Bush's support, a Patients' Bill of Rights that stacks the deck against patients and provides special protections for HMOs that ordinary Americans (and all other businesses) don't have. On every difference between the Senate and House HMO reform bills, the McCain-Edwards-Kennedy bill stands with patients and doctors and the House Republicans/Bush bill stands with the insurance companies. This fall, the Patients' Bill of Rights will move to a House-Senate conference, and supporters of real reform will be fighting for a level playing field between doctors, patients and their families and the insurance companies (Democrat, 2). Protecting patients' rights shouldn't be a political issue. The only place in America where patient’s rights is a political issue is here in Washington DC. Nearly every doctor’s association, every nurse’s association, and every patients' rights group in America agrees that we need a strong, enforceable, Patients' Bill of Rights now. Let's put the people's interests ahead of the special interests and work to make this summer a season of progress for all Americans. America look forward to an open and fair debate and the passage of a real Patients' Bill of Rights that will truly strengthen our health care system, protect our families, and enrich our nation for the 21st century.



    discuss this amongst yourselves!
     
  2. AliasHombre

    AliasHombre Rocket Ranger

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    You should use an actual example for the one at the beginning.

    Its good, even though i may not agree.
     
  3. aliasjgfanaticmv

    aliasjgfanaticmv Rocket Ranger

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    I agree, and I think that was an example. I mean, I'm pretty sure I heard somethin like that happen, but there are plenty of things I've heard like that anyway.
     
  4. AliasHombre

    AliasHombre Rocket Ranger

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    The arguement is still more persuasive with a example from real life, not one dipicted in a movie.
     
  5. aliasjgfanaticmv

    aliasjgfanaticmv Rocket Ranger

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    I guess, but she's writing it so it's more like it's you, instead of someone else.
     
  6. AliasHombre

    AliasHombre Rocket Ranger

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    I understand, but the arguement is more persuasive when you can indentify withsomeone else.
    If the example is connecting to you, then of corse you want it to be fixed with the law passesd. Its like if your friend is killed of corse you want the death penalty for the bad guy.
     
  7. aliasjgfanaticmv

    aliasjgfanaticmv Rocket Ranger

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    (ok, I know this will be offtopic) Not nessecarily, because I'm all for the death penalty, but I've never had a friend killed. So really, it's just the same effect whether you're playing a role or whether you're reading an example. It effects some but not others.
     
  8. AliasHombre

    AliasHombre Rocket Ranger

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    I'm for the death penalty too.
    A persuasive essay is not necessary to change their view.

    Funny, huh, how this started w/ a patients bill of rights?
     
  9. aliasjgfanaticmv

    aliasjgfanaticmv Rocket Ranger

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    yeah it is pretty funny, but I never said you needed a persuasive essay to change their view...LMAO!
     
  10. a.k.a.Kate_Jones

    a.k.a.Kate_Jones Rocket Ranger

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    ok, I think at the end of this sentence it's supposed to be driven, instead of drove. (sorry, but I have this weird thing where incorrect grammar reallly bugs me :LOL: )

    *claps* very good, though. when I was reading the beginning, it sounded really familar, and then I realized it was from John Q.!

    I once wrote a persuasive essay about why you should start watching Alias... :cool:
     
  11. nance

    nance TUMS

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    dude!!! me tooo!!! i wrote it on how Alias is the best show and if you don't watch it what you're missing out on!!!

    irina bristow--- i promise i'll read your essay but i gotta go now!
     
  12. SpyGurl001

    SpyGurl001 Rocket Ranger

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    Its a good essay, but I like Alias Hombre don't agree.


    ~KM
     
  13. Victoria King

    Victoria King Rocket Ranger

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    irina great essay! and i really dont know what to think about it, i agree with many of the points of what we should have access to, but if you cant cover it yourself and have the finacial support then no! so basically i'll get back to you on what i think.
     
  14. Irina Bristow

    Irina Bristow Rocket Ranger

    I am glad to be getting feedback on this, and plus it's always fun to see peoples views on politics! but thank you all for commenting on this, since it is not due till tues. I will take it upon myself to make some revisions!
     
  15. Existentialist

    Existentialist Entertainment Moderator

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    Actually, the example was from John Q, but the movie was based on a true story. And stuff like that happens all the time. For a fiction, but very well written example, try John Grisham's novel, the Rainmaker.

    This is sort of related... it gives an example about the health coverage in the US. We were discussing maternity leave benefits in one of my classes the other day. There is this chart in our text that compares countries and length of maternity leave/%age of wages paid in covered period/provider of coverage. In the US, women are allowed 12 weeks maternity leave and no %age of wages are covered. In the UK, women are allowed 14-18 weeks, and they are paid 90% for 6 weeks and then a flat rate after, paid by social security. In France, women are allowed 16-26 weeks, paid 100%, which is paid by social security. In Italy, women are allowed 5 months, are paid 80%, which is paid for by social security. In Russia, women are allowed 140 days, paid 100%, which is paid by social security. In Germany, women are allowed 14 weeks, 100%, which is paid by social security to a ceiling and then the employer pays the difference. And it goes on with some other countries. The US allows the least amount of time and is the only country that doesn't pay at least something. This information is from the UN in 2000.

    Every other industrialized country uses social security to help pregnant working women. Why doesn't the US? I understand that it is a problem if people aren't working and can't help pay for at least some of their insurance, and end up getting a "free ride"... but these are working people who pay taxes, etc. The health care system in the US definately needs some brushing up.

    And off topic, and for the record, I am kind of against the dealth penalty and kind of for it. I don't really believe in the whole "eye for an eye" that so many other people believe, and I think it's better to let murderers sit in prison forever and hopefully let them start suffering mentally for what they did. However, there are some who will never feel remorse, and prisons are waaayyy too nice nowadays... plus, I was just watching some of a movie called The Matthew Shepard Story (which is about a boy who was beaten to death by another boy because he was gay... incredibly sad)... and I felt like the boy who beat Matthew Shepard (and later bragged about it) deserved to die for what he did. So yeah... i guess what I'm saying is, I think the death penalty is alright... but we shouldn't use it as much as we have been.

    Hehe, these political topics get me talking.
     
  16. Irina Bristow

    Irina Bristow Rocket Ranger

    Existentialist definately adding that, WOW, thank you. I read the book, but never thought to use it rather than John Q. When I picked this topic I really didn't realize it had this much contriversy surrounding it. And thanks again!
     
  17. Existentialist

    Existentialist Entertainment Moderator

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    Hehe, no problem. I'm kind of a freak about this stuff... never was until I hit college. Go figure.
     
  18. Irina Bristow

    Irina Bristow Rocket Ranger

    hey who knows maybe this is why i do debate ;)
     

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