Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health Care

Okay, so there is a lot of debate about the current health care bill out there. Personally, I like the coverage we have now. But, in a little over a year, it will change. My husband's employer can no longer afford to offer the plans it does now. Instead, it is going to a one-sized fits all approach with a health savings plan. All of the details haven't been announced, but it doesn't sound as good as what we have now!

That being said, I think the coverage we are going to get will still be better than the government's plan. It will still be a PPO. It will still be managed by the same carrier we have now. We just may have to pay more for things 9but pay less each month for that coverage).

What scares me about the government's plan? Well, a lot of things. Here is an article I read today (very short). I really feel that within 10 years of the plan being in place that private insurance will be gone. The government will be able to offer its plan at very low cost. There are also rumors of having private insurance taxed, meaning more Americans would pick the government option. So, what is the problem? With only one option, we won't have choices. We will have to jump through unnecessary hoops to get the care we want. There will probably be longer waits to see a doctor (like there is in Canada and the UK already). Basically, the quality of care we have now will not be there.

So, what do I want to see? Well, in a perfect world, the cost of insurance would not be so high. That would mean the actual cost for service would have to drop. But, with our sue-happy nation, that isn't going to happen! (Also, covering for illegal immigrants getting treatment in the ERs is killing many states' healthcare systems.) So, here is one idea:
The government would provide catastrophic coverage for all Americans. Then, those with chronic conditions would be offered insurance through the government on a buy-in basis (i.e. the amount they have to pay will be dependent upon their income and very affordable). For the rest of us, we would be able to buy private insurance like we can now. Because catastrophic coverage is already provided by the government, the insurance premiums should be less. They aren't going to have to make as many big pay-outs, so their costs would be less. Each American could then decide what level of coverage they want. For some, it might just be having a health savings plan if they are young and healthy. Others would opt for more coverage based on their projected needs. For example, if you are planning on having kids, you would want a plan that has good coverage for prenatal care and delivery. If you are accident-prone, you would want good ER coverage.

What do you think about this whole health care thing?