Electronic records are a great idea ["7 Ways Health Reform Is Going to Affect You," usnews.com]. However what good are they if people aren't able to access care due to costs? People can't afford to see a healthcare provider, they can't afford medications, operations, and hospital care. We need a healthcare system that provides ongoing assessments based on encouraging wellness and healthy lifestyles. We need early assessments and interventions of illness. It is criminal that our country with all of our resources doesn't provide healthcare to all of our citizens. Our present "insurance" system is dictated by insurance companies whose purpose is to make money for the company. These insurance companies tell consumers who they may see (i.e. which provider the company will pay for), what medications to take (i.e. which drugs are "in formulary"), and which treatments they may be reimbursed for. We need the government to help us.
Comment by Joanne Neihardt of MI
As a small bone surgeon I can guarantee that access to specialists such as myself will be severely restricted, and wait times incredibly long. Non-emergent cases will take a back seat and it may be months, if not longer to schedule an elective surgery. With the proposed cuts (to surgeons), I see the likely scenario that older surgeons will opt to retire rather than deal with the red tape and headaches of the new system. I for one will limit my practice and certainly pare certain plans that do not reimburse me a reasonable fee. It takes an average 12-14 years to train a small bone or orthopedic surgeon. The system cannot easily replace those that retire early, especially as retiring baby boomers are set to hit the system. There's no easy answer but I can tell you from my perspective it would be easier to find a solution to insure the 50 million who are without health insurance, and leave those of us who are pleased with our insurance alone.
Comment by Rob of TX
I am happily covered by a Medicare/HMO. It is not perfect, but 50 million people have nothing. It is time to stop the lies and rhetoric and fairly insure everyone. Did you know that half of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills?
Comment by Bill Duncan of CA
I agree that medical expenses are out of control but please stop blaming your healthcare providers for your healthcare expenses. No one in this country wants to take responsibility for their own health. Healthcare providers constantly advise their patients to stop smoking, eat a healthy diet, and exercise. But rarely does anyone listen to this advice. Instead patients get fatter, lazier, and sicker. Why do we have to pay for health insurance for people who do not take care of their bodies?
Comment by B. K. Landau of NC
Whether we like it or not, the baby boomer generation is getting old and in the next few years they are going to join the current useless Medicare program. So it is time to deal with this problem with out of the box thinking. That doesn't mean that government has to run national health insurance program. It has been a proven fact that government cannot do anything right across the world. Some of the options are making the health insurance related laws more stringent and to make sure that the insurers cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or deny coverage/payment after the treatment on some frivolous typo found in the application after two years. A nonprofit-run, government-backed national health insurance agency is not a bad idea. This will give fair competition for insurers and pharmaceuticals. This entity should also have the mandate to import medicines from other countries and go through the approval process for such imports from FDA. This could be a clearing agency where local prescription fillers can import medicines through an approval and monitoring mechanism and be squarely responsible for making sure of the quality of the medicines. I also think that digitizing the medical records will go a long, long way in minimizing the medical errors.
Comment by Sam of CA
Great Places to Live with Outdoor Perks
Loveland, Colorado is a great place to live ["Best Places to Live 2009," usnews.com]. Fort Collins, about five miles north, offers a bit more as far as downtown dining/shopping experiences go, but when college students are in town, it gets way too crowded, there's too much traffic, and it can be difficult to go out on the town without a long wait. Loveland's downtown area is improving each year, and the home prices are substantially lower than they are in Fort Collins. Loveland is also as close as you can live to Rocky Mountain National Park without living in the canyon or in Estes Park (about a 30-40 minute beautiful drive). The art is abundant, and the schools are great. Being an hour from Denver is a real positive as well; close enough that going to Rockies games is doable, but comfortably away from all the traffic. There are a million things to do outside, art fairs in the summer, a free beach at Lake Loveland, and it is safe to go for a bike ride or run in any neighborhood. I'm glad that Loveland is finally getting some recognition beyond Valentine's Day! Yeah, it's a little bit small-town-y, but the people that live there love it, and you should too. I've lived in five different states, and in nine different towns, and Loveland would certainly top my list as "Best Place to Live."
Comment by Justin of CO
San Luis Obispo, California is a great small town. It consistently makes the top 10 lists of best places to live in the U.S. Warm climate, clean environment, a top university, good government, friendly folks, and proximity to mountains, ocean, hiking, biking, etc.—in short, a paradise in the Golden State. Come visit, but good luck in trying to find a job or affordable housing.
Comment by Art of CA
I work and live in Boise, Idaho (I'm a native New Mexican), and my girlfriend lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico's north valley. Both of our homes are near the river greenbelts (Boise and Rio Grande rivers), parks, museums, foothills, downtown/old town, ski areas, etc. Each day we wake in either city is just another day in paradise.
Comment by Terry Heslin of ID
Now the U.S. will know what we in northeast Florida have always known....St. Augustine is a fantastic place to live and raise a family. It has charm, it has history, it has an A-rated school system in Florida, it has great restaurants, it has entertainment, and it has great weather all within the confines of a smaller county. I have found wherever in the U.S. or world I have traveled and people ask where are you from, the response I get when I say "St. Augustine" is a smile on their face and a positive comment about their experience here. If you are bored in this town, it's your own darn fault. So stop by and see us, you'll be glad you did.
Comment by Pat Smith of FL
We live on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River just south of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Every morning and every evening we have a complete panoramic view...never the same, but always amazingly beautiful. The wildlife is abundant. We could spend our time just soaking in the surroundings. It's a city with many wonderful qualities including the very friendly people who live and work here. I've only been here several years, but I feel safe and welcomed being part of this community. We're not a bit surprised that La Crosse was chosen and we're very proud that it was picked as one of the top 10 cities in the United States. That's quite an accomplishment! Congratulations to La Crosse!
Comment by Dee of WI
We were relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico for my job. My jaw dropped when I heard the news, Albuquerque? What the heck is in Albuquerque? Wow! I had no idea how amazing this place is. The sunset and scenery are amazing! There are lots of community activities and things to do. I laughed when someone stated this place was dull. This place is far from dull, wine festivals, biking, hiking, river rafting, skiing, farmer's markets, great and inexpensive places to eat, a microbrewery, a zoo, an aquarium, several very cool historical sites, an amusement parks, live music in the park, and more! I can't even name all the cool things there are to do. The schools are not the best, but the city is working on that and if you have kids live in the suburbs: Rio Rancho the school district is 20 times better out there. Crime...well every city has crime. The highest crime rate is a misconception. Before I moved I compared the crime rate to other cities and it's lower than other major cities. True, there are no major sports but you have college sports and minor league teams all over, those can be just as fun. People are genuinely friendly out here, they say please and thank you and they will hold the door open for you! It's the little things that make Albuquerque so great! The 320 days of sun a year doesn't hurt either!
Comment by JT of NM