OP-ED

Will Victory on Health Care Reform Mean Defeat for the Democrats?

Being a futurist is not really about making predictions, but people ask for them anyway.

So here is one: The way things are trending right now, Obama and the Democrats will succeed in getting a reform bill – and it will cost them the Congress in 2010 and possibly the presidency in 2012. Why? Because it will be ineffective at bringing most voters any tangible benefits soon, and ineffective especially at bringing down the cost of health care.

Obama (along with everyone else) repeatedly talks about “affordable” health care. What the bill is most likely to bring is health insurance reform. This is very important, and will bring tangible benefits especially for those who must go without insurance now because they have “pre-existing conditions.” But there is nothing in the bills that are most likely to pass that will really bring down the costs of health care any time soon. Yet the bills demand that the health plans cover many more people, and the providers treat them, while putting in place no mechanisms that would forcefully and quickly control costs – so costs are likely to go up even faster than before.

Despite the many obvious problems with our current health payment system, most voters are already covered, most have not run up huge costs on their insurance, most have never been kicked out of a health plan, most have not been refused for a pre-existing condition – so they will see no benefit, only continually higher costs. Of those who are not covered, 1/3 are working poor, who have decided that they just can’t afford health care – and now they will be forced to buy it, at current market prices, with minimal help from their employers or the government. Another 1/3 are people, mostly young, who could afford it, but have decided they don’t want to, because it does not seem worth the money to them – and now they’ll be forced to. Yet if these continue to be the kind of plans that the industry loves – high-deductible, high co-pay plans, most of the time it will seem to be of no benefit to them.

So the great majority of voters will continue to see higher costs, many will feel forced into a bad deal, and most will see no benefit. There will be an enormous backlash.

The storm that will gather over the next couple of years is going to be greatly exacerbated by this backlash, and providers will come even more under the gun to find ways to control their processes and get their costs in line.

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90

50
Leave a Reply

49 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
37 Comment authors
PaulJeffEric PearsonAG, M.D., J.D.arizona insurance Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Paul
Guest
Paul

we need to start over and do this right. single-payer plan is the only way to bring down costs for everyone. It will eliminate people who dont have insurance using emergency room for instead of regular doctor. that can save billions. the current plan does nothing but bail out insurance companies and betray the voters who worked so hard to get these polititians in office.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

OMG! Talk talk talk! If you cannot see what is really happening here, then you are doing exactly what is expected of you as a good socialist drone. It is all about control and the total and complete dismantleing of your freedoms gaurantied you in this great land. I don’t need the government for anything, niether do you. Watch this hand while I enslave you with the other. Go ahead you mindless brain dead zombies and follow that cute little lemming in front of you. Wake up, before it is too late!

Eric Pearson
Guest

As Democrats of the Democratic Party, we are joining together in seeking reform within the Democratic Party. Many of our elected representatives within the Democratic Party are no longer following in the time-honored footsteps laid down by the founding fathers of our great Nation. More importantly, we as democrats see our elected representatives within the Democratic Party abandoning the values and principles as set forth within the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Nonetheless, this is only the beginning of our problems as Democrats, for the current Democratic Party leadership is tainted by corruption and being… Read more »

Eric Pearson
Guest

As Democrats of the Democratic Party, we need to join together in seeking reform within the Democratic Party. Many Democrats already know their elected representatives within the Democratic Party are no longer following in the time-honored footsteps laid down by the founding fathers of our great Nation. More importantly, we as democrats see our elected representatives within the Democratic Party abandoning the values and principles as set forth within the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. At the very least, many of our elected representatives within the Democratic Party are no longer abiding to the sole… Read more »

AG, M.D., J.D.
Guest

Joe,
You are spot on! It’s kinda like the film: “IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD.” Don’t you agree?
Read my blog for http://www.lawdocblog.com for the details. The comparison is frightening.
The lawdocblog.com
AG, M.D., J.D.

arizona insurance
Guest

I’ve seen stats suggest that 85% of those with health insurance are happy with it. This sad saga is simply about dems having control over this industry. That is it in a nutshell. Government usually screws this up and this will be no different. It’s a major mistake waiting to happen.

dyck dewid
Guest
dyck dewid

This is so Past Tinkering. There is so much machinery between me and my health care provider I have taken up self treatment for the most part. I have the intellect and I have the money. But, I don’t have the stomach. And it’s not respectful of humanity. My self-treatment works– it’s homeopathy. It’s not my exclusive tool and I still must rely on allopathic medicine too but only infrequently. I’m 65 and do not take any onging meds. I’m told this is quite rare. BTW, insurance says that doesn’t work and doesn’t cover one time of Homeopathy. But, this… Read more »

Adam
Guest

A government run health plan is a disaster. Huge national debt will be created. The doctors that the president appeared with were politically reliable, they were selected because they donated to his campaign. Polls are showing that publics support is rapidly declining – http://is.gd/451Sj

catherine w
Guest
catherine w

YES. I have already contacted my office to change from Democrat to Independant. I voted for Obama; what a lie. We thought he would give us health insurance like Canada or England. Instead he is going to throw the citizens in jail for not buying it and when they comitt malpractice we will not be able to sue. They can give poor care, but you can’t sue the government. This is the worst nitemare I have ever seen in my life. Obama is ruining our country and taking freedom away. You will be thorwn in jail, not free health care.… Read more »

GCP
Guest

“Will Victory on Health Care Reform Mean Defeat for the Democrats?”
Yep!

haywood
Guest
haywood

While there are many competing theories, explanations and outright blowhards in this crew – I’m betting on the jockey in this race and my choice is Rick.
Well said and mixes opinion with recent past history. So rare in these days – nice job.

lucia
Guest
lucia

Personally, i think the writer has it correct. How did we vote in a dem congress and dem president (who in 2006 said he favored a single payer plan) and get to the place where we will have little to no health care reform that includes a strong public option? the repubs and independents will have a field day with this in 2010 and again in 2012 and to be honest, I will only blame the dems.
Weak and spineless…those are the adjectives I use to depict the dems in office.

Nate
Guest
Nate

Dan M the implication is an out of state carrier would not have to offer the same mandates as instate carriers, this easily equals double digit savings in some states. It’s not being proposed to solve the cost of care it being proposed to solve the cost of regualtion. If we had blocked Medicare 44 years ago we would still have 13% of our seniors in need of assistance. Instead, after reform, we have 19% of our seniors in need of assistance and something like 34 trillion in unpaid liabilities. A clear example of how blocking reform can be a… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

jd. No real offense taken. The poll merely shows that support is eroding over time. I do think the support numbers would be far lower if more people actually affected by the law had been included in the sample. My conclusion that revolt is imminent is based on observations here on the ground. The state has raised a plethora of taxes to support Chapter 58, and the feds are propping it up to the tune of about $11 billion over three years. Meanwhile, other services are being cut left and right (aid to cities and towns, education, social services etc.),… Read more »

Dan M.
Guest

I remain amazed by people who equate “blocking reform” with “success.” The $500 billion shortfall in Medicare over the next 10 years is not simply a “possibility.” The trust fund is in the red TODAY, with no Boomers in the program. Unless we want general revenue tax increases to fund the shortfall, something has to be done to pull cost out of the system, and that is the provider side’s obligation to get busy on. The other option is implementing reimbursement cuts that will make the SGR updates seem desirable. So, how is doing nothing a victory? Granted there are… Read more »