Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fixing healthcare - are we making progress?

How are we supposed to fix such a broken healthcare system? As CNN Money.com puts it, "Lawmakers are still far from consensus on how to fix the health care system." There are currently two bills that propose the following:
  • a national insurance exchange on which insurers would compete for consumers' business;
  • a public health plan that would compete with private insurers on that exchange;
  • and subsidies for financially strapped Americans eligible to buy health insurance on the exchange.
If you have health insurance through your employer, then you probably won't see many changes. We may be seeing a new tax to cover some of the costs associated with these healthcare reform changes. Will healthcare costs go down? What if you don't have any health insurance? You may qualify to receive help from the government. At the end of the day, it sounds like it will be mandatory for people to have some form of health insurance. If we drive a car, we're required to have automobile insurance. Is it unreasonable to mandate that everyone in the U.S. should have health insurance?

Perhaps the bigger question is this: What happens if healthcare providers stop accepting government-sponsored health plans such as Medicaid? (this is already happening all over the country). If provider reimbursement is low, then providers are more likely to stop accepting certain forms of coverage. Will this happen to Medicare if reimbursement rates continue to drop? I'm afraid it will.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with your concern in the last paragraph,"what happens if providers stop accepting medicaid?" In this bizarre discussion going on these days in the beltway, nobody seems to care, that ultimately there have to be healthcare providers to give health care. No law can force doctors, nurses to care for patients if there is no true incentive for them. And, of course, these politicians (actually lawyers) are not even bringing in the cost of lawsuits into the cost equation. How convenient????