Friday, December 01, 2006

Bush’s “Illusional” Healthcare Plan

While the number of uninsured grew by 5.5 million to nearly 46 million people during President Bush’s watch, our nation’s CEO stuck to his strategy of consumerism as the tonic for the ills of America’s healthcare system. High deductible health plans and their corresponding health savings accounts will solve the problem according to the White House.

Data shows his strategy to be a band aid on a lost limb. Estimates show 2.7 to 3.1 million people are covered by consumer directed health plans. Not all of these have health savings accounts, the key ingredient of which President Bush speaks.

A study released by the Center for Health System Change shows when given a choice by their employer, people infrequently choose our President’s preferred solution.

The survey found that when offered a choice of at least two plans, 55 percent of employees selected a preferred provider organization or PPO, 40 percent chose a health maintenance organization and 19 percent opted for a consumer driven plan.

So not only is the President’s solution inadequate, it is unpopular. The number of people covered by such plans increased only 300,000 from 2005 to 2006, while the latest Census department statistics showed the number of uninsured grew by over 1,300,000 persons during 2005.

As for people negotiating price with doctors and hospitals, when was the last time 1% of a market flipped pricing for the other 99%? We have 3 million people covered by consumer driven plans out of 300 million persons in the U.S.

How will these individuals do any better than the federal government with its 120 million covered lives or major insurers with their power of better paying plans (less bad debts for providers)?

The answer is individuals won’t flip the market. This is simply a Bush delaying tactic which gives the illusion of strategy when none really exists…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You simply don't understand the problem. HSAs don't ask consumers to negotiate price. HSA plans still include a PPO network that does that for them.

What it allows them to do is not go broke trying to cover themselves down to $500. In 2005, the average family plan in America costs $10,000/year. The same average American family used LESS than $1,000 in services. The same coverage for a family with an HSA would typically cost 40% Less or $6000/year.

Doing the math on these amounts would leave that "average" American family with a winfall of $3000 in premium reductions to save TAX FREE for the future.

This comes with all the SAME big ticket healthcare coverage. In fact the exact same if not better. There is still the same coverage from the deductible on. Many times HSAs are written for 100% coverage instead of 80/20 given the consumer the exact amount of their exposure unlike the 80/20 plan with their 20% of some unknown number.

Why don't Americans buy $50 Deductible auto insurance. The answer is the premiums would break their backs. The same is true with the a $500 health plan today.

It's bad information on good programs that are hurting the Consumer-driven model not the plans themselves.

Don't use your dislike for Bush to appear to be an expert on something you clearly aren't.