My hand is unable to grasp a pen right now. Why you may ask? Because I have been tightly clenching a black pen all day long, frantically trying to write the definitions of words like “dual eligible” and “entitlement program” out one final time. I had my mid-term this afternoon for my class “U.S. Healthcare Crisis: The Politics of Healthcare Reform.” It’s taught by the President of UM, Donna Shalala, who was Clinton’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, so who better to take a class from?
When I realized I would be able to squeeze it into my schedule, I jumped at the opportunity knowing that I knowing nothing about healthcare when I really should. It’s only once a week, but provides plenty of work in terms of reading and cramming in new information through videos, articles, and podcasts. Especially at a time when health care is in the news each and every day, we are constantly being sent recent newspaper articles and given updates on the twists and turns of possible legislation.
Despite this constant enlightenment, when I sat down to truly study last night, I realized I still did not have a clue what was going on. As I looked at the pages and pages of notes before me, I became more than anxious. All day long I have been studying and reviewing like a mad woman, nervous about what the 50 multiple choice and 5 short answers questions might consist of. Thinking about what possible short answer questions could appear, “How should we reform healthcare?” instantly came to my mind. Racking my brain for what I would answer if this question did show up, I realized that: I have no idea.
Public insurance, HMOs, PPOs, Medicare Advantage… it’s all a jumble and forms our patchwork system of healthcare here in the US. How do we save the system to keep people insured and cared for? I really don’t know. I wish I had some set plan, a concrete idea of what I think Obama should propose this very moment, but even still, I don’t feel like I am educated enough to know what is going on. Even when we discuss it in class, I feel like every proposal has some backlash or reprecussion that makes it not a good idea. Truthfully, it scares me.
But let me tell you, if anything, this makes me want to stay healthy for as long as possible!