Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Few (Rare) Good Things About The Current Healthcare System

Subtitle "Make sure to keep these things intact when enacting healthcare reform."

In my previous post on healthcare reform, I stated what is probably controversial but I believe true - Do not fear socialized medicine in the future as we have that NOW. Most of our healthcare system is in shambles. But there are a few bright spots.



What began as a convenient, low cost marketing method for insurance companies trying to sign up customers for health insurance way back when, has become a cornerstone of today's insured population.

Currently, there is a well-developed infrastructure using employers to disseminate healthcare plans to their employees. I don't want to add to the employer's burden. In this economy, we don't want to further burden our industry with mandates or increased responsibility. I do, however, want to take advantage of this method of health insurance distribution.

Many people are afraid that the healthcare markets/exchanges will cause a leeching of people out of employer coverage and into the market/exchange coverage. If done right, the Market will have more competition, more choice and will be attractive for those wanting more than what their employer can offer them. Once enough people switch away from their employer's plan, it will diminish their group buying power and effectively destroy the employer market for insurance coverage.

I would not focus on this as it is not necessarily a bad thing. I do think that ANY HEALTHCARE REFORM BILL THAT INCLUDES A MARKET/EXCHANGE MUST HAVE A PROVISION THAT EMPLOYERS WHO PAID FOR HEALTHCARE WILL CONTINUE TO SPEND THE SAME MONEY AS THE PREVIOUS YEAR FOR THE EMPLOYEE. In other words, employers will not be supplying healthcare insurance, they will provide the $ for insurance - just like before.

Think about how much money each company will save in not having to offer health insurance. They'll still pay for coverage, but the payments will be predictable.



Technology is expensive, and according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study is THE major driver of the high cost of medicine. America is the leader in the creation of new, better technologies like CT, MRI, Angiopasty...the list goes on for miles...that have improved the diagnosis and treatment of many illnesses.

The problem we face is the skyrocketing costs that have made paying for these expensive new technologies untenable for the average person. Insurance coverage is a must in order to take advantage of this healthcare progress. However, the cost of insurance is going up as a result. there must be a way to maintain American Innovation, while allowing people access to these high cost tests and procedures at reasonable cost to society.

There is. See my next blog for my thoughts on how to manage this tightrope walk between low costs, efficiency, and innovation.

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