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What relying on Private Health Insurers will Look Like

The Des Moines Register
March 5, 2007
Mandating private health insurance is misguided
Taxpayer-financed health coverage is a better approach.
By the Register Editorial Board

It sounds simple enough: Get everyone insured by requiring them to
purchase health insurance. So-called "individual mandates" are part
of Massachusetts' plan to get all residents covered. They are
included in a proposal by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a
recent conversation about health reform in Iowa, state Sen. Jack
Hatch said he supports individual mandates because they inject
"personal responsibility" into health care.

But forcing people to purchase private-sector insurance is far from
simple, especially considering the government absolutely must ensure
the coverage it makes people buy is adequate.

Proceeding with this idea would be a mistake.

Just a few weeks ago, this editorial page told the story of Jan and
Gary Clausen, who didn't have the option of buying health insurance
through an employer. They went out on their own and bought AARP-
endorsed plans for about $700 a month. They were left with more than
$200,000 in medical bills after Gary was diagnosed with cancer!

Some insurance.

If the state is going to force people to purchase insurance, it must
guarantee necessary services are covered and the bills are paid when
health disasters strike. It must require insurance companies to
protect Iowans against catastrophic costs.

Of course, that's where things really get complicated.

Will the state define coverage in private-sector insurance plans?
Will it increase oversight of the insurance industry? Will it
prohibit insurance companies from increasing prices? What is the
definition of "affordable" insurance? Who will qualify for a public
subsidy to purchase insurance, and how will that be paid for?

All these questions and more need to be answered.

But our greatest concern is that an individual mandate moves this
country in the wrong direction by relying too heavily on the private
sector to achieve universal coverage.

Private is not better than public when it comes to health insurance.

Private health-insurance companies spend a greater percentage of
dollars on administrative costs than government programs such as
Medicare. Private companies also use health dollars to pay outrageous
CEO salaries. UnitedHealth Group Inc. paid a former CEO $8 million a
year. He also had unrealized gains on company stock options totaling
nearly $1.6 billion.

Try finding a government worker with a personal jet.

Private-sector insurance has been a financial failure in Medicare
Advantage plans, where the government subsidizes insurance companies
to take over the care of seniors rather than keeping them in less
expensive traditional Medicare.

According to a study by The Commonwealth Fund, Medicare spent $922
more on each senior in private plans than it would have paid to cover
those patients in traditional Medicare in 2005. That's a total of
more than 5.2 billion tax dollars that could have been saved or spent
elsewhere if seniors would have remained in the basic, government plan.

Why push anyone into the more costly private sector?

A taxpayer-financed system of health care that offers basic coverage
for all Americans is a better approach. It would be administered by
the government, and it would save money.

According to the National Coalition on Health Care, the nation's
largest alliance working to improve care, a system like this could
save 1.1 trillion health-care dollars over 10 years. Of four plans
proposed by the coalition, a universal, publicly financed one was the
best deal.

Of course, a national system would require those in Washington to get
busy solving the problem rather than leaving states to scramble for
ways to cover their residents - and pursue misguided ideas like
individual mandates.

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070305/
OPINION03/703050303/1035/OPINION


Comment:  This is the message that the nation must hear. The private
insurers are incapable of providing us with coverage that is both
affordable and effective in preventing financial hardship for those
with health care needs.

When an AARP-endorsed plan with a premium of $700 a month leaves a
couple with $200,000 in medical bills, we know that private insurance
is not the solution. Mandating participation in a fatally flawed
system represents the worst of public policy proposals.

This editorial should be downloaded and distributed widely. Everyone
needs to understand what will work, and what won't.
0
mjs818 (23)
3/7/2007 10:47:50 AM
comp.sys.mac.advocacy 34242 articles. 0 followers. Post Follow

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Actually that is quite a good point. 

I have a propossal:

California can talk with Massachusetts and create a NON-PROFFIT insurance
company. It is better to join to double the bargaining power. This
non-proffit insurer start to issue coverage at the market price to those
required by the law to buy coverage.
Later, when other states wake up, they can join the organization and slowly
but steadilly transform it into the main insurer. 

US spend per capita 2.5 times as other industrialized country, and for these
money the US provided care it is rather mediocre. It is obviously that
there is a huge waste on the private sector. This non-proffit insurer will
be able to become more efficient than everything the private sector will be
able to ever achieve. Especially if states back it negotiation power in
relationship with Big Pharma.


It is time for the looters criminals private insurers which reject
individual coverage based on preconditions to be put out of business once
for ever. They robbed enough until now. It is payback time !!! 

Interesting reading list:


http://cthealth.server101.com/Old Universal Health
Care/united_states_spends_most_on_health,_but_france_no__1_in_treatment.htm

or as a short link:

        http://tinyurl.com/33dzwj

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_05/003972.php

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=1914155&page=1 



0
nospam191 (234)
3/7/2007 11:58:00 PM
Reply:

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