HCA 255 Topic 5 Discussion 2
Many U.S. health care reforms focus on insurance coverage instead of the cost of providing health care. Provide a local or state solution (e.g., efficiency, public health programs, grant options) that addresses health care cost containment without modifying existing insurance programs.
Provide a local or state solution to health care cost containment that does not affect coverage of existing insurance programs including Medicare and Medicaid.
Many U.S. health care reforms focus on insurance distribution instead of the cost of providing health care. For example, most employers traditionally have had to provide coverage for their employees and dependents through a package of policies provided by an insurer. Although many Americans choose to purchase their own policies, they are increasingly choosing to pay a small monthly fee to have access to the same benefits regardless of income level or geographic location because of the savings on insurance premiums and other affording concerns. These reforms create many new opportunities for individuals and states to increase efficiency, lower costs, and make better decisions about local health care systems.
Why hasn’t the US addressed health care costs? Why not support a federal solution that provides coverage for all, including the nearly 9 million Americans who lack any form of insurance, while addressing cost containment and improving health outcomes? Why not mandate that a portion of every premium or tax-receipt collected to provide coverage for all Americans?
Health care costs are very expensive in the United States. A large part of these costs are paid for by the government through government-mandated health plans (e.g., Medicare and Medicaid). When these programs were established, they were likely intended to help reduce long-term spending and help to alleviate our national debt. However, one problem with these systems is that people who are covered by them may still face unaffordable rates of healthcare, primarily due to high out-of-pocket costs and co-payments. Oftentimes, deductibles and co-pays can be incredibly high. ASHOKA seeks to provide a solution that addresses the cost containment issues presented by our current health care system.
One of the many unintended consequences of the U.S. health care system is to drastically increase the cost for providing medical care, so much in fact that it puts a strain on other areas of the economy including hospital salaries, insurance companies and government revenue. This solution would encourage creativity within hospitals and between health care systems to find new programs or funding sources, or ways to form cooperatives and provide services cheaper than either old-fashioned insurance or private insurance. It is also helpful if, at least at present, no universal health care is being discussed.
Recently, the concept of community health care has gained popularity. In order to prevent health care cost increases, there are many suggestions being made, ranging from taxation and waiting period requirements to regulations mandating health care coverage. Since Medicare, Medicaid, and the Mayo Clinic all provide optional coverage for beneficiaries who register with the system, implementing a community health care option may seem like a viable solution for both carriers and patients. However, if such a plan were implemented, it would still be subject to debate as to how it should be structured. Should every patient have to have annual screenings? Should every person not be covered because they have medical conditions not requiring medical treatment?
Recent attempts to contain health care costs have been largely unsuccessful because they have imposed new barriers that limit patient access to convenient and affordable care. Nonetheless, these steps have led to a national debate on the appropriate coverage that individuals should receive. We explore arguments for and against mandatory coverage of all medical procedures in three different policy options: (1) no coverage except for pre-existing conditions; (2) mandatory coverage for all adults; and (3) mandatory coverage for individuals with high medical bills.
Too many people in our community cannot afford the health care they need and deserve. Much of their health care budget goes to health insurance – ironically called employer-based insurance. This system fosters impersonal, fee-based care based on a consumer’s pre-existing conditions and medical history. It is expensive, inefficient, and leads to unnecessary costs for consumers. Insurance companies don’t provide quality service for the cost that is charged, but are some of the most aggressive users of medical technology, thereby fueling rising health care costs year after year.
We will be able to cover many more people with a single payer health care system that is run by and for the people, rather than a profit driven insurance company. The uninsured will be able to afford care without fear of being bankrupted or of “going without.” We must take this opportunity to build a single payer health care system because it will save money instead of costing it, create jobs instead of costing them, and improve our quality of health care as opposed to relying on private insurers.
The US federal government has put forth a great deal of effort in trying to reform our health care system. While many in the US have chosen to support this move towards change, it would be easy to see how we outsource our health care insurance to an all-powerful company, which may or may not give us service we feel is adequate. When we choose to use private medical insurance for care, our medical providers are paid per procedure or ordered piece of medical equipment (Hospital). This can add up quickly if you have several surgeries during your lifetime. But this is not where the money goes. It goes directly into the companies pockets, which are main contributors for the large medical bills that Americans are facing today. For those who use government sponsored health care insurance or Medicare, there is no profit on administering it. This allows a more efficient and cost effective way of providing quality health care documents without gouging Americans with excessive costs that cannot be justified by poor service and over priced products.