Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Obama outlines plan to have health insurance for all

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

News Story:

President Obama gave details on how he would like to reshape the healthcare system in the US.  He would like to give all Americans the option to buy into a government insurance plan, while still allowing them the choice to purchase private insurance as well.

There is pressure for Obama to push to require that all Americans have some form of health insurance, possibly providing a waiver based on income or some sort of  subsidies to help the poor purchase coverage.  Cost of this type of program is a huge issue, and Obama is already talking about making huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, in the amount of about $300 billion over 10 years.  He cites waste in unecessary tests, and hospital readmissions and would like to see more of a focus on managing chronic diseases.

All plans should have a basic coverage package, and none will be allowed to turn down those with pre-existing conditions for coverage.

Republicans and Insurance companies oppose the plan, as they say it would drive insurers out of business by artificially deflating the cost of coverage.

Commentary:

I agree that providing affordable healthcare for all US citizens is important.  Insurance companies have become so greedy, especially in their compensation of executives in these companies, and are not concerned with customer service.  They will give patients the run around and deny coverage with their profitability being their only concern.

A public coverage option will force insurance companies to differentiate themselves from a government run program, and service may be the way they can do that.

US Government considering public health care plan

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

News Story:

US senators are meeting to discuss possible options for the US government to begin to offer a government run healthcare plan to US citizens not currently eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.  This would be especially focused toward benefitting the middle class.

There are several plans being discussed.  The first would be similar to Medicare, but would compensate healthcare providers better.  The second would be run similarly to a typical health insurance plan, patients must pay premiums, not taxes, to participate, but the government would not need to be profitable as health insurance companies do.  Also, the possibility of allowing individual states to institute their own public healthcare plans is on the table.

Obviously, insurance companies are opposed to any government control over the industry.  The insurance industry is currently negotiating many changes in their practices with the government in hopes of preventing the public takeover of healthcare insurance.

Commentary:

The healthcare insurance industry as it stands today is in definite need of an overhaul.  As in so many corporate run industries, executives are obscenely overpaid at the expense of customers, patients in this case as well.

I don’t think the government should be emulating the Medicare program, however.  I also don’t think that putting this burden on individual states will be a good idea.  There would be massive disparity from one state to the next in the quality of healthcare available.  Any time the government gets involved in control of new areas it concerns me immensely, as  efficiency, and quality of service are not a strong point of the US government.  When you remove financial motivation completely from the equation for those running programs, you don’t get good performance typically.