No matter what your political beliefs are, we all need to have a healthcare system that is affordable.
The United States is unique in how healthcare and insurers have been tied together since the 1940s.
The insurance industry as it stands is a colossal failure if we look at how they have curtailed costs, helping to create a system of in or out of network plans that are incentivized to cost us more year to year through the Obamacare 80/20 rule.
You may have noticed that hospital systems have grown as insurers continue to create tiers, forcing the independent hospitals to join large systems to protect themselves. This alone has raised the price of care since larger hospital systems control large swaths of their region’s health care delivery.
We have become a nation taking overpriced drugs and rarely do these drugs solve our problems and our sickness system of healthcare is ill itself.
Some of these drugs are addictive and our mainstream delivery systems have failed with their idea of pain management and have instead done more harm than good. The Opioid crisis is a direct result of that.
Healthcare by committee as we shuffle from a high priced specialists from our 10-minute primary doctor visit is clearly not cost-effective, as doctors worry about missing something or being sued. A simple problem that requires some time can instead become a problem that each doctor sees through the eyes of their own specialty, instead of looking at the patient and understanding their problem as it exists in their own body. The patient-centered care idea exists more at primary care than in specialist models and the body is a holistic functioning organism. Why are we looking at the body as if it is not the sum of its parts, and instead of calling dysfunction diseases and treating the symptoms with a drug? This is clearly the largest driver of tests and drugs in the system, all of which are quite profitable, yet, is it good healthcare?
While this sounds bad enough, if we can control some of the cost of the insurance itself, it would be a start.
Recently, I moved my family to an association health plan from NJBIA who is a business organization in NJ. If I am a member, I can join their plans. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Horizon plan they offer is hundreds of dollars less with better national network access. Unfortunately, most of you are unable to join a plan like this since you do not belong to NJBIA, although it is affordable to join.
The current president supports these type of plans however, one of the largest cost drivers are older patients. For those of us above 50 years old, why can’t we buy into Medicare which has a lower cost to insure us, and lower administrative costs as well?
A recent article featured in “The Hill” by Richard Kirsch in an opinion piece suggested the government offer a Part E in Medicare, which would allow those of us who are older to buy into Medicare at a younger age.
While this does not solve the problems in healthcare practice, it may reduce the sticker shock for those of us who are younger and in other plans, as well as those of us who are older.
Check out this fascinating idea below. While large employers who self insure may still want to do so, if they see that Medicare offers insurance on par or better, with better access to doctors, they may want to buy into this as well for their employees.
Here is an American solution to universal health care
BY RICHARD KIRSCH, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
As Republicans debate whether to launch one more doomed and deeply unpopular attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are starting to think about how to address the public’s real concerns about health care. Americans want to build on what exists, not tear it down, and they want the security of knowing that quality, affordable health care will always be there.
A new proposal in the American Prospect, titled Medicare Part E for Everyone, delivers on the government responsibility to provide universal coverage that most Americans support, with a uniquely American solution that starts with what’s working and fixes what’s not.
Over 157 million people get coverage through work, provided or administered by private insurers. But premiums paid through our paychecks and rising deductibles and co-payments are squeezing working families. Private insurers insure another 21 million people, a portion through the Affordable Care Act’s market places. But that also leaves too many people with high costs and, too often, a limited choice of health care providers and plans.