Uncategorized

POLICY: First Healthcare Reform Competition

As those of you who’ve been deep in this post know, Eric Novack has been looking for answers to the healthcare reform debate and he suggested that we have a competition among THCB readers to come up with a decent proposal. So here it is, and you’ll see that it focuses on the sectors of the health care system that Eric and I think are problematic.  Answers in the comments section to this post please, and look for the lcuky winner to be on the radio with Eric soon.

Background: How would you change the healthcare system? What would you be trying to achieve? Here is YOUR chance to have others see YOUR ideas!

Rules:

1. 250 words or less (i.e. 10-15 lines)

2. MUST address the following groups and areas

a. Group 1: 70% of the population that accounts for only 30% of all healthcare costs

 i. 210 million people spend $600 billion

b. Group 2: 30% of the population that accounts for 70% of all healthcare costs

 i. 90 million people spend $1.4 trillion

c. Group 3: 15% of all medicare dollars are spent in the final 3 months of life

 i. $50 billion

d. How would you change, if at all, the current tax laws that exclude the cost of healthcare for businesses but do not allow for the deduction of health insurance premiums for individuals?

 i. The value of the tax exclusion is $200 billion

3. Must be very specific

a. For example, just saying that the government should buy prescription drugs to lower costs is not good enough

Winner:

1. Winner will be chosen by a combination of votes from readers of the blog and judging from Matthew Holt and Eric Novack

Prize: 

1. The adulation of your peers

2. The opportunity to explain your plan to the public on The Eric Novack Show, a weekly radio program dedicated to healthcare policy and politics

CODA: I will delete comments that exceed 250 words or are not exactly on topic.  I’ll put up an open thread for those above.

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90

Categories: Uncategorized

Tagged as: ,

newest oldest most voted
Daniel
Guest

There are several non-invasive changes that can be made to address all groups. 1) Standardize a simple-to-learn categories of insurance. The premium category would mean all expenses covered. Perhaps a letter-based system. Policies could be rated AABD or similar. Categories could include long-term care, emergency care, prescription coverage. 2) Standardize risk assessment categorizations. By law, there should be a stamdard way to query about risk, updated every 3 years or so. Combining this with #1 allows consumers to make intelligent choices, and forces insurance companies to compete in the same risk pool with the same information. 3) Require licensed insurance… Read more »

lorri
Guest
lorri

From the available pool of money, reserve a certain amount for catastrophic/long-term/elderly care. Approval for this kind of coverage would be conducted by a local panel set up for this purpose. Reserve the rest for everyday healthcare such as annual checkups, purchase of medicine, minor surgery, and eye/dental care. Each citizen would have a certain dollar amount available, perhaps with proportionate availability based on age, with less available to younger people with fewer healthcare needs. Eliminate a huge portion of administrative costs by setting up an ATM system for distribution of benefits, and make spending one’s allotment entirely at the… Read more »

battlepanda
Guest

Our first order of business is to separate the public from the private. Our inability to face up to the inevitability of a single-payer health care system has resulted in a weak and and inefficient crazy quilt of care. We bribe employers with tax breaks to provide healthcare for their employee, because doing so directly would be considered “socialized medicine”. Even when we are openly subsidizing the purchase of prescription drugs, we manage rope in private companies to “provide” the plan, adding an unnecessary layer of overhead, rent-seeking, and confusion simply to provide a little free-market lipstick on the pig.… Read more »

Contrarian, M.D.
Guest
Contrarian, M.D.

1) Individuals should be responsible for purchasing their health insurance with HSA’s leading the way. 2) Insurers should provide policies that allow individuals to budget their healthcare. An individual would know what his monthly premium would be over a fixed period of time say 2-5 years. 3) A basic level of health coverage needs to be established by the government. This basic level would be the minimal coverage any company could offer. This would allow the consumer to know exactly what is and is not covered because this would be a universally known level of coverage. All insurance companies must… Read more »

Lawrence Lee bowers
Guest
Lawrence Lee bowers

I believe our nation has overlooked a better approach. I have a plan that includes current reform efforts like Health Savings Accounts, World Health Organization strategies for implementation, the baby boomer and uninsured issues and HR 660, Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003. This restructure vision is designed for implementation at no additional cost. This plan promotes hybridization of the socialized medicine concept and reinforcing consumers’ ability to pay, while retaining the advantages of a free market industry where demand and supply determine what is fair. By restructuring funds within our current system a free market will again reign,… Read more »

marcus
Guest

Repeal Medicare. Retain Medicaid with required preventive services.

Bernie
Guest
Bernie

The problem 1. People have been encouraged to believe that they have a right to as much as they want of whatever medical science can provide (driving up demand). 2. Providers—physicians, hospitals, drug companies–operate as collective monopolies (greatly restricting supply). 3. The incentives for most providers are to profit by providing (or denying!) services; only a few profit by actually maintaining health. 4. Payment arrangements largely disconnect cost from benefit, depriving almost everyone involved of crucial feedback information. 5. A pervasive and oppressive orthodoxy, enforced by the collective monopolies, prevents many promising innovations from becoming established, or even studied. The… Read more »

John M
Guest
John M

Legalize euthanasia.
Mandated national health insurance modeled after Medicare with a nationwide VAT source of revenue along with modest co-pays (>$20).
A single point, web based billing system for all providers which would facilitate tracking and data collection.
An annual $10 million dollar competitive award for the program demonstrating the most improved health for the least cost.
Group medication purchasing with entity sizes of at least 10 million lives, but no maximum ceiling.

Ross
Guest
Ross

Eliminate reimbursement for specialty hospitals and in office testing to include xray, lab, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, imaging such as MRI, and coronary arteriograms. The cost of overutilization associated with self referral is staggering and in the broad picture is destroying the ability of communities to sustain full service hospitals. Return hospitals to community control with local boards, certificates of need to avoid duplication of equipment. Reform the insanity of malpractice insurance by limiting noneconomic damages. Finally, short of national healthcare, address the no pay, uninsured, and Medicaid shortfalls by letting physicians “deduct” the equivalent cost of care using a pitiful… Read more »

Ray Gridley, R.N.
Guest
Ray Gridley, R.N.

The fundamental problem with healthcare in America is quality control. Get the quality under control and the cost and accessibility problems will disappear. What is the fundamental obstacle to quality healthcare? – Practitioner variance. Physician practice patterns, particularly in medicine (as opposed to surgery) are more art than science. Physicians’ palate of choices for evaluation and treatment are constantly influenced by reimbursement, pharmaceutical companies, fear of liability, patients and family expectations and all those little individual maladies that make us human. We need to create a system that can (and does) define, enforce and incentivse quality care. I therefore propose… Read more »

Hippocrates
Guest

I would question whether the grand topic of Healthcare Reform can be reduced purely to numbers and proposed tax laws changes, within 3 groups. Do not get me wrong, modifying the financing system is critical. However, this should not be the place to start a meaningful reform. What must come first is a hard look at the incentives of the players and the root causes of wasteful behavior. The waste is real, it is duplication of effort due to IT disconnect and excessive utilization driven by our pay-by-volume compensation model. What distinguishes healthcare from most other industries is a stunning… Read more »

Pam
Guest
Pam

The focus of health care in the U.S. must shift to prevention (that 70% of the population) rather than intervention (the 30% of the population overspending their “individual allotment”) of disease processes. Another key facet is health care cannot provide all things to all people of the U.S. population. The Oregon Health Plan provides a substantial look at limits to consider in providing health care. Limits must be placed on, for example, premature births, end stage renal disease, life support in an ICU setting, and surgery for geriatric populations. It sounds harsh, and it is; however, as we’re proving to… Read more »

Rod Everson
Guest
Rod Everson

Congressional action is unnecessary. The healthcare crisis was created by national tax policy that favored employer-provided insurance. That policy was upended when recent bureaucratic rulings established Health Savings Accounts. Now the focus shifts. States should legislate that employer-paid insurance premiums be redirected to employees thus: First, toward paying the premium on an employee’s personal high-deductible policy; second, toward maximizing an employee’s permitted HSA balance; third, toward taxable income. Employers neither gain nor lose. Simultaneously, all health insurance companies should be required to price high-deductible policies offered exclusively to huge groups, say all females aged 18 to 25 or all males… Read more »

Bruce Sundquist
Guest

The only permanent cure to the health care crisis that also opens virtually unlimited opportunities for improving the quality of health care is to address the issue of labor utilization inefficiencies. This can only be done, to the degree necessary, by large-scale computerization of the entire health care system’s information flow-, analysis- and storage systems. This work would need to be done by a single software source, using sub-contractors, that produces open-source software as the final product. This strategy is essential in order to avoid software incompatibility problems, monopoly problems, and endless haggling and blame-games among software vendors. The work… Read more »

gordon
Guest

Medicare for all. That’s it. Easy, universally accepted, low management costs, and fully functional.