Paul Taylor - CEO Ozarks Community Hospital
More healthcare discussion…
My thoughts on http://ochhealthcarereform.blogspot.com/2010/02/dear-president-obama-and-guests-of.html
A very interesting perspective on the topic of Universal Health Coverage. We should also keep in mind that all Americans have access to healthcare and will not be turned away when seeking attention. The healthcare debate revolves around controlling the costs. One of which is getting more people to pay into the system. I suppose 100% employment would help that, but that is another discussion.
“the government would contract with insurance companies to serve as fiscal intermediaries to process and pay claims efficiently”
No way…Maybe I am being cynical but nothing with the words government and efficient have ever turned out well. One of the main problems we have today is with insurance claims processing. It introduces too much overhead. We need to eliminate as many middlemen as possible.
“Employees would have half of the premium deducted from their wages with the other half paid by the employer. Self-employed persons would be expected to pay the premium and those who do not would have it assessed against them as a tax.”
This has been debated as being unconstitutional. As much as I like the idea of forcing people to pay a premium and contribute, this is a tricky one. The car insurance analogy is often used. We will still have uninsured motorists getting into accidents.
“Legislation would prohibit loss of coverage for pre-existing conditions and other nefarious insurance practices, but individuals with higher risk factors would pay higher premiums.”
This is basically already being done. I suppose the debate would be to define “higher premium”. I agree we need to eliminate pre-existing conditions and somehow pool the risk. The bottom line is that you pool risky patients who have to be paid for by the healthy patients. More on enforcing healthy habits later.
“…nation-wide army of general practitioners, better trained and more highly compensated than specialists. Patients would be required to choose a general practice physician to supervise their care.”
I am trying to visualize this component. It sounds like a huge impersonal medical/treatment farming process like a medic for an army platoon. It smells like a bunch of academics practicing medical theory. This concept needs more inspection and discussion.
“No doubt less money will be spent on new facilities and new equipment for many years, but the healthcare delivery system will adapt and survive. Americare is one of those compromises that everyone would hate and complain about bitterly, but it would work.”
Here is the rub. This is rationing healthcare by demand outweighing supply. A complete government takeover will almost certainly reduce the quality of American Healthcare. If we get frustrated today with delays to see specialists, think about a system that does not grow infrastructure and introduces 45 million new patients into the system where medical professionals will eventually be paid less and get more frustrated with practicing medicine.
I do agree totally with the concept of incentivising (did I spell that right…. I am too lazy to spell check) good health and putting the responsibility on the individual. This is going on now with some companies. The other side of the health care debate is getting people to be healthier which in time can reduce some healthcare expenditure.
As I read through this, I can’t imagine how much more the employed middle class will begin to pay in taxes to support anything universal. We already can’t fund government programs.