|Health care insurance||Spoke Wrench|
Oct 26, 2003 4:51 AM
|I think that health care payment plans are going to be the #1 or #2 issue in the next presidential election. If it doesn't swing this election, I think that it'll be real big in 2007 when Hillery might be running. I think that our current system in the United States isn't working very well because it's dumb.
Most working people today would value a system in which an insurance program that is entirely paid for by their employer pays all of their health maintenance costs. I don't think this will ever work in the long run because 1. Users aren't likely to be frugal in using health care services if they feel somebody else is paying and 2. Insurance administrative costs increase the ultimate cost of the service. A one payer system will not address either of those issues.
I favor a conversion to a Medical Savings Account program. It should have three parts:
1. A major medical insurance plan to cover the big hits.
2. A PPO to negotiate the costs of day-to-day health maintenance costs.
3. A Medical Savings Account from which users can pay their day-to-day health maintenance expenses.
Payment for this program could come from whatever source people's medical costs are being paid from now.
Right now in St. Louis we are having a grocery worker's strike that affects all three of the largest grocery retailers. The #1 issue of the strike is health insurance. This summer we changed contractors for my job. Our contract with the new contractor includes using COBRA benefits for up to 18 months until the new contractor can negotiate a new health insurance plan. I'm assuming that the cost of health care benefits are a huge factor in negotiations for all current labor contracts and are probably in decline for every worker who doesn't have a union to bargain in their behalf.