Update on Healthcare Reform

Republicans claim healthcare reform could crowd out private insurance.
The AP (3/7, Alonso-Zaldivar) reported, “The search for agreement on healthcare may be short lived. … On Saturday, Republicans laid down a challenge. ‘I’m concerned that if the government steps in, it will eventually push out the private healthcare plans millions of Americans enjoy today,’ Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in the Republican weekly radio address. Blunt, who will play a leading role in the debate, warned: ‘This could cause your employer to simply stop offering coverage, hoping the government will pick up the slack.'”

The Hill (3/7, O’Brien) reported that Blunt said, “I agree with President Obama that if you like your current health insurance plan, you should be allowed to keep it. … But that’s not what is currently being discussed in Washington.” He “warned that if the government got involved in healthcare, it would result in overblown bureaucracy and rationed treatment.” Blunt argued, “Just imagine a healthcare system that looks like a government-run operation most of us are all too familiar with — the local DMV. Lines, paperwork, taking a number. … Or how about another government agency — the IRS.”

Expansion of government-sponsored insurance seen as potential “deal breaker.” The AP (3/6, Alonso-Zaldivar) reported, “Giving Americans the option of buying medical coverage through the government — an idea put forth by President Barack Obama — is a potential deal breaker for some Republicans and insurance companies whose support would ease the way for a healthcare overhaul. The proposal, which Obama advocated in his presidential campaign, would for the first time offer government-sponsored coverage to middle class families, as an alternative to private health plans.” According to the AP, “insurers fear competition from a government plan could drive them out of business, and Republicans worry it would lead to a government takeover of healthcare. … Whatever he decides, Obama could find himself trapped between liberals in his own party and conservatives he’s trying to woo in support of a healthcare overhaul.”

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2 Responses to Update on Healthcare Reform

  1. Lucy says:

    Aren’t the Republicans the ones who want to let the free market determine who gets what business? If the private insurance companies wouldn’t be able to compete with whatever healthcare overhaul is eventually offered by the government, it sounds like the Republican Party needs to advise private insurance companies to stop whining about it and gear up for the competition.

    • Mike Braun says:

      The problem with a government entity competing against private insurers is that they will stack the rules in there favor. What will happen is the good risk will erode from the private insurance pool and let private carriers go by the way side. This ultimately leads to one risk pool, which will be a single payer system. This term is called crowding out. Employers will drop coverage in favor of the government run risk pool because this comes off the balance sheet of these corporations. This leaves employees without coverage and the only option is government run programs. The other side is if you give the govnvernement the bad risk we will just be taxed on it. The 47 million uninsured really is misleading because they can get coverage in the ER and cannot be refused care. So technically, they do have coverage.
      Once in a single payer system, the only way to reduce the cost of healthcare is to ration care. If you want, I can send you a some materials on single payer systems in other countries. It talks about wait times in other countries for serious medical conditions.
      One that I can think of off the top of my head is if someone is over the age of 55 and on dialysis. No kidney transplant will happen for this person.
      I am not saying the system is perfect by any means. There are access and financing issues to both sides of any solutions. mandating coverage for one can be a solution. Getting young buyers is tricky. Access to care through clinics may be a solution instead of the ER. Illegal Immigration has put a tremendous stain on the healthcare system.
      A couple things for alarm.
      1. In 2011, there will be 1.5 million americans going into Medicare. At the present rate, it is 500,000 people per year.
      2. In 2017 Medicare will run into the red operationally.
      In the future, seniors will be asked to pay more for healthcare than at the present rate.
      Save your money. It is going to get expensive.

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