Monthly Archives: September 2016

How To Provide Health Care

This country has been attempting to achieve health care for everyone for decades. Health Care Reform will require timely access at an affordable cost to have any chance of benefiting the American public. The Congress has suggested several proposals of health care reform. The House of Representatives has two health care proposals and both of these plans call for a government-controlled program that the public in town halls across the nation has rebuked.

Approximately 47 million Americans are without health-care insurance sometime during the year. Several million of the uninsured are young people whose health is good and they choose to do without health-care-insurance even though they have the economic-means to purchase it. Millions more of the uninsured are undocumented immigrants. This leaves us with approximately 15 million Americans denied health care either because they lose their job, have a precondition health illness, or they simply do not have the income to afford health care coverage. About 80% of the public is content with their current coverage but they are concerned with the rising cost. Therefore, controlling rising cost and insuring the 15 million uninsured appears to be the main needs of any health care reform proposal.

Government Employees Insurance Company [GEICO] provides federal employees with auto and life insurance. GEICO operates in the private sector and most of GEICO is now available to anyone that wishes to participate in his or her coverage. Employees of the federal government have an excellent medical provider program. The federal employees get their medical insurance in the private sector. The same program available to federal employees should become available to any citizen or American company the same way GEICO is. Low-income people could be provided vouches [pro-rated] based on income to acquire the coverage.

Tort reform is a must in order to control rising cost of medical attention. Doctors, to protect themselves from lawsuits conduct expensive and wasteful medical examinations. These defensive examinations drive medical coverage prices equal to or more than most of the cost needed to provide medical insurance for the 15 million uninsured. Therefore, tort reform must be part of the solution in controlling the spiraling cost of health provision in America.

Small businesses and individuals should be able to purchase health insurance at group rates. Many states only allow a few companies to sell health insurance in their state, thus restricting competition and increasing cost. Individuals need the ability to purchase health insurance from any insurance company nationwide. Insurance companies must be required to provide health care to all people with any precondition illnesses. Also, insurance providers should not be able to drop current coverage for people who develop an illness. Insurance should be transportable for people who lose their job or leave their job. Duplication of a patient’s medical test should not be required when another doctor sees the same patient, unless a second opinion is required or requested. Duplication of medical examinations is a costly and wasteful use of resources. Individuals need the option of purchasing major medical insurance coverage, which surpass a previously agreed amount. Major medical insurance is far less expensive than full coverage insurance.

Controversial Health Care

Health care has become a hot button issue for politicians and voters in the recent past. Some people believe that there should be a universal health care system put into place so that every citizen has access to health coverage. Others think the health care system should stay the way it currently is with private health care companies in control as opposed to the government taking control of health policies.

As with every debate, money plays a role in the controversy behind health care. A public health system would cost hundreds of billions of dollars, which would add additional strain to the government’s already stretched budget. In order to finance a public health care plan, taxes would have to be raised. Some citizens who would carry the bulk of this tax burden don’t think they should have to, since they are not effected by the current care crisis.

The argument for the other side states that the current cost of health insurance is becoming so expensive that many Americans can’t afford to pay their monthly premiums. Also, uninsured Americans are presently costing hospitals millions of dollars every year in unpaid medical bills.

People who are against a universal care plan claim that healthy Americans who take care of themselves should not have to shoulder the burden of Americans who do not take care of themselves. Statistically, wealthier means healthier in America.

Those on the other side of the issue believe that every citizen should have access to safe and affordable health insurance coverage. They claim that this type of health plan is not available to everyone today for various reasons including having one of the many pre existing conditions that automatically disqualify millions of Americans from obtaining health insurance under the current system.

At it’s core, the controversy over health care comes about simply because it’s a subject that effects every single person in the United States, whether they are insured under the current system or not. A universal care plan would also mean more government interference in the individual lives of citizens, which is a subject that many have strong opinions about. Our health policies can determine our quality of life and can even determine whether we live or die. For some, a government run system could not only allow them the freedom to see a doctor whenever they needed to, but it could also mean receiving medical attention that could potentially save their life. Others who are currently covered and have a great insurance policy could see their coverage worsen to a point where their quality of life suffers dramatically.

No End To Rising Health Care

Everyone knows the cost of health care is rising every year with no end in site. Many families are burdened with premiums that are eating up a large portion of their budget. Those with health insurance plans through work are seeing their out of pocket costs grow. Some employees are even paying more for benefits at work then they would on their own.

A RAND Corp study, released in September of 2011, examined the health care an the average American family’s budget from 1999 to 2009. While the average family saw a 30% increase in their income, much of that was wiped out by greater gains in the cost of medical care. Inflation and higher taxes further decimated the gains.

They found that monthly premiums for health insurance grew by 128% over the decade studied. This is well beyond the rate of inflation. Prices on all goods tend to go up over time due to the devaluation of currency called inflation. But when a price for a good goes up faster then inflation, it becomes relatively more expensive then other goods in the economy. This is precisely what is happening with health care. When people are forced to spend relatively more on a good, they feel they are taking a step backward in terms of the living standard.

Making matters worse, many people who receive their health benefits through their employer are seeing lower wage gains. An employer has to take the total cost of an employee into account, and that includes what the employer spends on health benefits. When health care costs increase for the employer, they have actually increased the amount they spend per employee, only it doesn’t feel that way to the worker. The worker is indeed getting a raise, it is just going directly to their health care costs. As health care costs for employers continue to rise, it will put downward pressure on wages.

Health care costs are going up for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, patients now have access to cutting edge – and expensive – medical procedures that were not available before. While these procedures extend people’s lives and well being, they are very expensive and have to be paid for. Additionally, with few patients paying the direct cost of medical care, rather paying their insurance company, the market for medical care becomes distorted.

Another reason for the recent surge in health care costs is the recent Affordable Care Act. One of the new requirements is that employer plans now cover children up to the age of 26. While that may help provide insurance to young adults, it comes at a cost. A survey by the Kaiser Family foundation found that the cost for premiums on employer heath insurance plans increased by 9% in 2010. The increase in premiums has put even more downward pressure on wages during the weak economy.

Many employers are now putting some, if not all, of the cost of health care on to their employees. Many workers are now paying part of the monthly premium and often a large deductible as part of their plan. Often times, if they are young and have no pre-existing conditions, they can purchase private health insurance at a lower price then they are paying for their work plan.

There is no end in sight to rising health care costs. Medical advances will continue, the American population is aging, and reforms in Washington do not seem likely to help reduce the cost of health care.