"[A]rranging deck chairs on the Titanic."
That is how one poll expert and political consultant commenting on America's health care system in a recent article terms the country's reform efforts when they don't adequately address care accessibility for covered individuals and families.
To wit: they're meaningless.
What writer Douglas E. Schoen is most rankled by and concerned with is the dichotomy inherent in the fact that a specific and especially vulnerable demographic is often denied access to needed care even when they are dutifully paying premiums for existing coverage.
That group comprises the individuals and families in Oklahoma and across the rest of the country who have serious and chronic medical conditions that urgently require care. Among all groups seeking care, contends Schoen, they certainly need it most.
And yet they reportedly suffer "an alarmingly high rate of denial," ostensibly because they are expensive candidates for treatment. Select insurers readily take their money and promise coverage, and then deny them the care they desperately need.
And they do so in nearly 25% of all cases, states Schoen, who cites data gleaned from a national study recently conducted by a coalition called the Doctor-Patient Rights Project.
The sad bottom line revealed by the Project, says Schoen, is that "insurance coverage alone is no guarantee that patients will have access to quality health care when they most need it."
Until that changes, he asserts, the health of scores of millions of Americans -- and, paradoxically, consumers who are in good faith paying for promised coverage -- will be imperiled, with the nation collectively suffering as a result.