Sunday, August 2, 2009

Public Insurance Plan

CNN has another article on healthcare reform. This one is titled, "Health reform follies: How to keep up" and it's a special report in the "Fixing Healthcare" section of CNN

I'd like to focus on the section that discusses a public option. Let's begin with a small snippet:
Those who want a public insurance plan want it fiercely, saying it's the only thing that can force private insurers to reduce costs and be more competitive. Those who oppose it are equally fierce, saying it would result in a government takeover of the heath care system.
Where do you stand on this issue? Do you want to see a public insurance plan that's available for everyone and anyone? Is that really the right answer?
Two major bills that lawmakers will consider -- the tricommittee bill from the House and the bill put out by the Senate Health committee -- propose a public health insurance option. That public plan would compete with private insurers on a health insurance exchange -- or insurance supermarket -- that the bills also propose.
If we see a public plan emerge, will physicians choose to accept this plan? Already, we see many healthcare professionals who choose to only accept cash. They no longer wish to deal with the headaches of chasing reimbursement from insurance companies. As a result, they state that they no longer accept any forms of insurance and they use a fee-for-service model. If this trend continues, then the presence of a public insurance plan will yield no benefit for consumers who need outpatient medical care.

At the end of the day, will such public insurance plans mainly be for hospital admissions and major catastrophes? Maybe the government will take over all the hospitals. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night wondering if all of this is a dream.

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