Universal Health Coverage Required, But….
We all need some health service sometimes, even young and healthy individuals, so having health insurance is essential to pay for expensive services. However, the objective must be to achieve universal coverage by lowering costs, so people can afford it, not with mandates that increase everybody’s expenses.
The Obama Administration delayed implementation of the employer mandate, requiring employers with 50+ full-time employees to provide them with high-quality health insurance, until 2015 after the midterm elections. Major corporations have been asking and receiving exemptions after ObamaCare became law. Although most of these employers already have health insurance for their workers, the employer mandate will increase costs for employers and employees alike. Employers have to determine whether hiring is possible, many are hiring part-time now to avoid paying these cost.
The individual mandate will probably face a similar dilemma, and many states don’t want to create public exchanges. The law also taxes high-quality insurance plans; insurers; pharmaceuticals; and medical device manufacturers, costs that will be passed along to the public.
The individual mandate ought to be implemented in the same manner as Medicare drug coverage, requiring everyone to choose a plan by a certain date. Medicaid ought to be expanded, but people should pay for it, according to their income, because health care isn’t free!
We need market reforms to lower prices of services and products, like: import prescription drugs and more medical equipment; create nonprofit hospitals, insurers, diagnostics; cap medical malpractice compensation; move equipment, testing from hospitals to doctors’ offices; computerize medical data/patient info; offer medical savings accounts; allow insurance purchase across state lines; and expand insurance pools for small businesses.
We also need patent reform to reward innovation, not protectionism, to allow competition; choice; and lower prices.
While health care spending will continue to increase, prices must come down to help the economy; reduce the deficit; ensure viability of Medicare/Medicaid; make universal coverage possible; and enable Americans to take better care of themselves with preventive health care.