Thursday, July 16, 2009

Health Care Industry: Control costs before establishing a public plan!

The Senate’s Health committee passed along a bill that would bring health care to more people than any other bill in the past 15 years. The trouble is that the bill does not focus solely on controlling costs. As I read the newspapers on the health care debate there is one controlling issue; need to reduce costs. Since cost of plans are increasing and the share of employee premium payments continue to rise, why are we focused on an all or nothing public option?

The president is back on television in interviews and advertisement to tout the need and press upon the American public that, “Make no mistake the status quo on health care is not an option for the United States of America.” While I agree with this stance, the simple notion that a public option will suffice and bring done costs is insane. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, stated, “Our broken system is working very well for private health insurers but not for American consumers.”

The answer from the Obama administration and many Democrats is a public option. Medicare and Medicaid are going to be bankrupt. Many will point to the escalating cost of health care as the root issue. I beg to differ. The root cause is beaurocratic involvement. The Government does do some things well, which may be way the Framers looked to limited the size of government, but they do not do entitlement programs well. Our Congress has mismanaged social security by allowing it to be part of the general fund and not leaving it in the special fund it was originally established in.

I agree something needs to change. The change needs to take place with costs. Before any public plan can be established or even discussed, we need to control the costs of health care. Government can influence cost control, not by offering a public option, by regulating the industry.

First, allow any citizen in any state to be able to purchase a health care plan from any state in the union. By opening up the options it will increase competition and through increase competition American’s will see the cost of the programs become less expensive.

Secondly, mandate that every American purchase catastrophic health insurance and stipulate that insurance companies cannot reject insurance due to pre-existing conditions. While I am not a big fan of being told that I must have the insurance, I am also not a fan of a government public option that would do more harm than good.

Finally, establish guidelines for medical lawsuits with the AMA in exchange that all hospital, clinics, and doctors must take all forms of insurance. The establishment of lawsuit guidelines will assist in driving down one of the biggest expenses for the industry; medical malpractice insurance. By requiring the acceptance of all forms of insurance it will force hospital and clinics to focus on preventative care to keep people healthy.

By moving in this direction the cost to the American public will be minimal compared to the potential $2.2T that we will be looking at under the Obama plan. Contact your Senator and Representative to concentrate on cost cutting measures in the health care industry instead of establishing an expensive entitlement plan.