Is This The Healthcare Reform (Cure)The Doctor Ordered?

Let us begin by stating the obvious which is the current mechanism for delivery of health care is abominable. What I mean is although we have the best care on the planet, the payment system and the delivery system has its considerable problems. So what is the solution and is it addressed in Obamacare? I will be among many who would like to restructure the system so as to make it more consumer friendly and patient based delivery and my bias would be towards reducing government interference and more towards a market oriented system. One major caveat to the naysayers, “A True Market Oriented System”. We do not have that now!

Let us view some numbers and attempt to discern what needs/has been done and at what cost. As was reported this weekend on an in depth report on Bloomberg News, 86% of Americans now have a health care plan. This leaves 14% without. A tenuous position to say the least. But these 14% do have access to the care they need via various state aid programs and federal as well. As a backstop the hospital is the caregiver of last resort. So it appears that care is available to all but systemically treated differently. According to the Bloomberg report the cost annually for those without care runs $39 billion per year. According to a variety of sources Obamacare will likely cost $1-2 trillion over the next 10 years. And if Medicare is any guide, the early forecast on its cost in the out years was off by a factor of 10 fold. Scary thought if history repeats.

But this begs the question. If we need $39 billion a year for the uninsured, why are we projected to spend many times this amount and convolute the whole system with 3000 pages of regulations no one understands? And as the regulators get their hands on these pages you can bet they will multiply as will the complexity of this program. Seems a lot of hassle for what amounts to a rather small sum by D.C. standards. In fact costs have been rising steadily these past two years and at twice the average historical rates for most private health policies and the plan has not officially started. They promised it would drive the costs down. What happened?

The usual happened. D.C. wraps its arms around an issue and does have neither the experience or capability of dealing with the issue. Recall former Speaker Pelosi stating “we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it”. Surely you jest. No human knows what is in it. It is no surprise that Medicare suffers the largest waste and fraud of any program we can compare with private sector insurers who for better or worse do a fine job of containing costs. I know they screw some people but in the main they treat us well and contrary to conventional wisdom they work on very thin margins of typically 2-5% net profit. Not much when you consider many firms net 20-70% profits such as the one who made your phone. So cut them some slack as they employ millions and are not “evil”.

I will grant there is a decent clause or two in this bill but I for one do not want to relinquish any authority over my health to this organization although they already play a huge role in it. Enough for now. There are better ways.

The last issue on the “uninsured” is many select this position and polls have reflected they prefer to buy cars and who knows what to paying premiums especially the young and healthy. So I conclude this is just another power grab without our permission by the power hungry. As always be careful what you wish for when you seek their help.

How to bring costs down? Try a health savings account. You are entitled to the funds that are not spent each year. In this context you actually pay attention to costs as opposed to leaving it to someone else. You will notice if your doctor bills $200 for a physical, you might seek a new physician who will bill $135 for same. It is a start at the minimum. It allows the client a stake in healthcare spending and a huge benefit for being frugal.

Try it the next time you get the sniffles and you may know instinctively you have a simple cold and sip some chicken soup as opposed to visiting your doc for $85. One step at a time.

Article first published as <a href=’’>Is This The Healthcare Reform (Cure)The Doctor Ordered?</a> on Technorati.




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