Thursday, September 24, 2009

Healthcare Reform - Some Realities

1. Uninsured People Get Coverage:
a. They pay a Lot for the coverage - such as: $300-400/month - individual, $700-1400/month - family, or
b. Their coverage is extremely poor - such as $2500 annual deductibles, or
c. Those who currently have "subsidized" coverage (e.g. most employees and retirees with employer based coverage) - will need to pay significantly more for their coverage or
c. Federal tax monies will need to cover "the gap" - which is large

2. Costs of Medical Care won't go down or stop going up substantially unless:
a.) Prescription drug costs - are significantly reduced - drug company advertising is significantly curtailed - and limits on costs result in seriously reduced costs,
b.) Diagnostic tests - are significantly reduced
c.) The profit margins of insurance companies and medical providers are substantially reduced in many areas,

3. Medical insurance is not a "free market":
a. There is No incentive for insurers to cover high risk individuals and families and a strong incentive both to Not Cover them and to try to force them to pay huge amounts when they have coverage,
b. The current medical insurance system logically results in market dominance by one or several companies in much of the U.S.
c. There is no logical way that lower income individuals or even mid-level individuals can afford decent health insurance coverage that isn't subsidized by some entity

4. Certain individuals and families need catastrophic healthcare protection to cover the costs of extremely high ongoing medical needs - e.g. - paying $2000/month for medication is Not affordable for most people or paying 20% of costs for surgeries and ongoing treatment can easily be $100,000/year or more for people with serious medical conditions.

5. Presuming that a single payer health insurance plan is not "political expedient" - it would be logical for the U.S. Government to "subsidize" all approved health insurance plans to cover catastrophic costs. Logically this should protect both individuals/families and health insurance companies. The costs for this should be paid for by taxes we all should be paying.

6. Healthcare should be a Right - not an "option".


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