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POLICY: Health Care Reform Now? Don’t Hold Your Breath

While Brian goes into the details of what’s need for reform, it just so happens that a few weeks back I wrote an op-ed for the LA Times suggesting that the current “crisis” wasn’t bad enough. As (after soliciting the darn thing) they didn’t print it, I thought it was time to give it an airing and I’ve put up a version of it as my Spot-on piece for this week. It’s called Health Care Now? Don’t Hold Your Breath.

Judging by the number of articles about corporations, unions and politicians decrying America’s healthcare system, you could be excused for believing that we will have health care reform very soon. You’d be wrong. More

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3 replies »

  1. “The American public is so fed up with the high costs of health care and exorbitant health insurance rate increases that they will grasp any alternative plan without closely examining the consequences.”
    If that is true, who’s fault is that – maybe the insurance industry? I’m not convinced enough people are fed up yet. But I am convinced that the insurance industry will continue to grow the fed up group.
    “Universal health care has proven to raise premium costs substantially, and in this writer’s opinion, is a rob Peter to pay Paul situation.”
    If all you institute is “Universal Care” with the present system it will not stop the 6% -10% compounded yearly increases. Look at the revised MA plan costs. In fact when the healthcare industry (insurance included) find the taxpayer will simply cover the increases they will see NO reason to control costs. Only when universal care WITH government run single pay is brought in will costs and access be controlled.
    As for robbing peter to pay paul well welcome to America. Very few tax programs are designed for wide spread benefit, most are for special interests. Do you think Ag subsidies is robbing peter to pay paul? How about corporate welfare – peter to paul program? The political war in Iraq – peter to paul? Mortgage payments tax deductible? Earmarks?

  2. The question isn’t whether there will be health care reform now, but rather will the reforms do more harm than good. In California there’s a rush to pass Assembly Bill 8 (Nunez) before the legislative session adjouns on September 14th. The bill is severely flawed. It would be far better for lawmakers to hold a special session to work through the details of their reform package.
    When it comes to health care reform, it’s not a question of now or later, it’s a question of getting it right or doing more harm than good.
    (For more on this issue, please visit my blog at http://www.AlanKatz.WordPress.com. I’d appreicate your comments.)

  3. The American public is so fed up with the high costs of health care and exorbitant health insurance rate increases that they will grasp any alternative plan without closely examining the consequences. Universal health care has proven to raise premium costs substantially, and in this writer’s opinion, is a rob Peter to pay Paul situation. However, this is the most politically correct position, so the politicians will make this a major issue in a pre-election year.
    What is very alarming to me is that there is little focus on forcing the insurance companies to clean up their act and improving a private sector market which will lead to more competition and keep costs lower than universal health care. No uniform disclosure legislation has been inacted to force insurance companies to disclose benefits and exclusions of health plans in a similar manner, and consumers wind up purchasing coverage that may have glaring omissions such as a lack of any ceiling on financial liability protection. Affordable health insurance exists today in the private sector; the consumer simply needs to understand what they are purchasing and how they can assume more risk in order to lower premiums. There also needs to be more consistent medical underwriting of pre-existing conditions and more latitude in issuing individual plans to those with minor health conditions.
    Until the powers that be focus on the correct issues, we will all continue to struggle within an imperfect system that can be improved to provide adequate private sector coverage at affordable prices.
    John Pack
    Low Cost Health Insurance Programs.com

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