Dems Discuss Health Care Complexities

Brent Finnegan -- August 28th, 2009

Local Democrats gathered at the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors building last night for a presentation and Q&A on the health care reform proposals with Timothy Jost, an expert on health care reform issues. The atmosphere of the event was notably subdued compared with the AFP rally a month ago.

Dr. Greg Marrow, a Harrisonburg optometrist and Democratic Party candidate in the 25th district, was at the meeting, adding the perspective of a local health care provider. I spoke with Jost and Marrow after the meeting.

While Jost believes the bills being drafted in the House aren’t perfect, he said “it’s the best (and only) plan we have on the table.”

Americans are currently paying for the most expensive health coverage system in the world. Marrow said redundant testing is a huge contributing factor. Many doctors bill insurance companies for what they know they can get reimbursed for, regardless of whether certain medical tests are necessary.

Jost said another major cause of the high prices is lack of competition. “In markets where there is competition between a number of hospitals that compete with each other, costs are much lower, and hospitals are run more efficiently,” Jost said.

Senators Warner and Webb have largely remained noncommittal on the bills coming out of committees thus far. Whether or not Virginia’s Democratic senators will ultimately support the Democrat’s proposals, Jost is cautiously optimistic. “Remember last fall. A lot of Democrats, including myself and my family put a tremendous amount of time into getting Warner and Obama elected,” Jost said. “I hope they remember who got them there.”

9 Responses to “Dems Discuss Health Care Complexities”

  1. Gene Hart says:

    Greg is the Democratic Party candidate in the 25th District. I have the pleasure of being the candidate in the 26th.

  2. Corrected. Thanks, Gene.

  3. Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

    Rep.Bob Goodlatte, our dude in the U.S. House will be in town next week to tell us about Republican “commonsense reforms” whatever they are? Come on down!

    Saturday, September 5th
    10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    Turner Ashby High School Auditorium
    800 North Main Street

  4. kai says:

    Professor Jost gave a similiar talk at today’s Health and Wellness Summit. I posted the bullet points of his PowerPoint here.

  5. Andy Perrine says:

    Did you know that there are data on how viewers of Fox are disproportionately misinformed about health care?

    I wonder if there is a correlation?

  6. seth says:

    i agree that it’s bad that people believe the suggested reforms would include death panels, coverage for undocumenteds (would probably be wise to revise those folks out of the 50 million uninsured number that keeps coming up if there’s really no intention of covering them) and other bs the opponents of this have been putting out there, but truthfully, those who believe that we’re going to make things better by eliminating ‘waste’ in medicaid while simultaneously expanding the program, mandating coverage (i’m sure the big evil insurance companies hate that one), and filling whatever shortage we end up with by increasing the taxes of the very wealthy concern me much more.

  7. Harvey Yoder says:

    Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, J.D., (pictured above) will make a presentation and lead a discussion at Clementine Cafe at noon to 1:30 Thursday, September 24, on just what is, and what is not, in current health care reform proposals. Jost holds the Robert L. Willett Family Professorship of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, and is a coauthor of a casebook, Health Law, used widely throughout the United States in teaching health law and now in its sixth edition. He is also the author of Health Care at Risk, A Critique of the Consumer-Driven Movement, Health Care Coverage Determinations: An International Comparative Study, Readings in Comparative Health Law and Bioethics, and numerous articles and book chapters on health care regulation and comparative health law and policy. He has written numerous monographs on legal issues in health care reform for national organizations, and in recent months has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, Fox News, the New York Times, AP and other news media.

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