Sunday, July 26, 2009

My thoughts on healthcare reform

Susie said that she wishes I would blog about health care reform.

My problem is that even though I'm a smart person (or at least my test scores and grades would so indicate) and even though I'm experienced (having spent 16+ years directly working in the business side of health care plus the lifetime that I've spent in a physician's family), I don't know what the answer is.

What I do know is that it's time.

I know that whatever we come up with, it's not going to be perfect. But it can't help but be an improvement.

Many people say that they don't trust the government to run healthcare (not that any of the current options propose that government run healthcare). I'll tell you who I don't trust to run healthcare; for profit insurance companies.

I'm worried about what reform will mean to my practice. I'm particularly concerned about paying the bills (mortgage, payroll, etc) if reimbursements for all patients get cut to Medicare rates. It's tough to do business planning in such an uncertain environment.

I don't understand why health insurance needs to continue to be employment based. Do you get your car insurance, your life insurance or your homeowner's (or renter's) insurance through your employer?

I don't understand why group policies and individual policies shouldn't be subject to the same rules regarding underwriting, pre-existing conditions and tax deductibility.

And yet, at this point, as far as I'm concerned, the specific details are far less important than the need to take action now. I completely agree with Obama when he says that in order to fix the economy, we need to fix healthcare. I wish the CBO could assess the 10 year cost of doing nothing because there's no doubt in my mind that it would far exceed the cost of reform.

I say, pass the damn law now and we'll figure it out. Every time I hear that there will be a delay, the pessimist in me thinks that, Obama or no Obama, the do-nothings will prevail and healthcare reform is doomed.


Gregg's Health Insurance News said...

Health reform will pass this year...there is no need to slam it through. The government really shouldn't be completely trusted based on their management of Medicare over the years, so just passing any old bill just isn't too smart.

IamMBB said...

Sorry, Greg, but we have a fundamental disagreement. I don't see any of the current proposals as slamming anything through, but as proposals that have been a long time in the works. It, time to stop diddling around and get something done.