Thursday, July 23, 2009

People want healthcare coverage but many can't afford it


President Obama spoke about the fact that most Americans want healthcare coverage, but many simply can't afford it. I think my favorite moment was when he spoke about Medicare Part D. When seniors hit the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, they "drop off a cliff."

Here are some of my questions regarding healthcare insurance reform:
  • How will hardship exemptions get allocated? Will they be fully transparent about the money that funds these exemption programs?
  • How should the government "regulate" medical practice? Will the government really be transparent about all the regulations and changes?
  • How can we reduce the "waste" in healthcare? Perhaps we need to shift from a "defensive" medicine mindset to a cost-savings mindset.Perhaps we need to focus more on prevention.
I agree that repeat medical tests are wasteful. Whether you're repeating labs or imaging studies, this type of practice is really wasteful. Health information technology (Health IT) should help reduce this type of waste as long as all the systems talk to each other.

Role models healthcare organizations according to President Obama:
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Cleveland Clinic
Finally, I'd like to comment about his statement that he's followed by a doctor every minute. Sounds like some serious concierge medicine! And then he said, "it's not about me." Most people can't afford basic health insurance. The rich can afford concierge medicine. Where's the middle ground and how long will it take to get there?

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