Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by ScreamingEagle, Sep 17, 2009.
Very interesting op ed:
This I agree with completely. I have said for a long time now that one of our biggest problems is that health insurance is too closely tied to employers. Allowing employers to offer vouchers toward the payment of a health plan would allow employees to choose a plan that best fits their needs while allowing them to shop for the most economical plan.
Employers tend to purchase very expensive and very comprehensive healthcare plans. And this is creating another problem. These comprehensive plans create enormous amounts of paperwork on both ends, the insurance side and the healthcare providers side, and this in turn increases rates.
Those with high deductible plans will be much more cognizant of the costs for routine treatment. One thing I have learned, now that I am without insurance, is that healthcare providers don't even know what they charge half the time for different services.
When I went to the doctor it took them fifteen minutes trying to figure out how much they were going to charge me. Then they gave me a 20% discount for paying by check. Now I am receiving the treatment I need and I'm paying less than half of what the insurance company would have paid if I had insurance.
We need to get healthcare providers back to charging directly for the basics, reducing the paperwork on both ends.
Ron Wyden, the independent thinking Democratic senator from Oregon is exactly right. Restore competition and choice to the health insurance market by allowing employees to use the company contribution to buy individual policies. If we also allow insurers to sell national policies across state lines, as Diane Feinstein has advocated, consumers will have much, much more choice and the market will be much more competitive.
Obama was correct in saying that greater choice and competition in the health insurance market will keep insurance companies honest and drive down health insurance costs for nearly all Americans, and this is the way to do it without imposing coercive mandates on consumers, employers, health care providers, insurance companies and without spending hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars.
The lower health insurance premiums go, the cheaper it is to help low income people with subsidies and that means more people can be helped. But it is unlikely that these reforms to take place while the Democrats are in power because they will be vigorously opposed by the unions, just as the unions have opposed extending the tax exemption enjoyed by employees who get their health insurance from ERISA covered plans to all Americans who buy health insurance, because allowing their members to enjoy the tax exemption and negotiate directly with insurers will weaken the union's control over its membership.
On this issue, Wyden and Feinstein are two independent Democratic voices speaking out against the special interests that are holding Obama and the Democratic leadership hostage.
Yes I've always said employers should get out of the picture. As an intermediate step for getting out of the picture I like the idea of employers just giving their employees vouchers for health care so the employee can shop and choose his own plan.
Interesting point (i bolded above). I've always said we need to get rid of the middlemen...the employers, the insurance companies (except for catastrophic insurance), and the government for the most part....but guess I need to add Unions to the list...
For almost every procedure I need for the treatment of my disease, I can find treatment options that cost less than half of what my former insurance company used to pay out. This includes the actual doctors visits, phlebotomies (blood removal of one pint), ultrasounds, CT Scans, and lab tests.
Most people could afford routine care if their premiums for catastrophic insurance were reduced. And it would be much easier to provide catastrophic insurance to everyone if the costs were reduced.
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