“Private” Health Insurance Co-ops Are Not A “Public” Option

Dear Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Rest of the Mainstream Media,

A privately-run cooperative is in no way, shape, or form a public option. By definition, a “privately” run entity is not “public”. It is not a public plan compromise. It is not a watered-down form of a public option. It bares no resemblance to a public plan. It would lack the benefits of a public plan and would do nothing to reduce cost.

Senator Conrad admits the privately-run cooperatives already exist. There is nothing legally stopping someone from creating health insurance cooperatives right now. This "compromise" is the status quo. Senator Conrad's plan is simply a complete and total defeat for supporters of the public option. It is ethnically irresponsible to report it as anything else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sit on the board with Utah association of Health underwriters and http://www.BenefitsManager.net for health insurance reform. Several interesting changes took place with H.B. 188 passage earlier this year that seems all too familiar on the federal level. The spirit of the bill allows private market place remedies. It essentially guarantees insurance providers a "no loss" or "no gain" over competing carriers in the insurance exchange portal which is http://www.UtahInsuranceExchange.info. On the surface it seems not to be attractive to participating carriers (voluntary at this point). But you have to understand the carriers’ goal is to cover their administration fees. That can be accomplished now. The other half of the equation is providers and their billing practices that need to be reformed. That is on the agenda. Keep an eye on Utah because the national health care debate seems much the same ground we have already covered.
In http://www.UtahInsuranceExchange.info which is the begining of a state sponsored program addresses this. Coming from an underwriting background I know where the dime falls. I am of the opinion that large waste occurs from providers billing for procedures that developed "no outcome". Insurance carriers are not the only bad guys on the block. In most of our purchasing decisions....don't we pay ONLY when we know that we will get a desired outcome? Why is it if you ask the doctor how much this test or procedure is he doesn't know? Shouldn't providers be held to a transparent cost standard?
You must be in the health care business from some touch point to make statements of fact in face of historical proposed changes. When you are in the system from any touch point (insurance, provider, hospital, Medicare or patient) you get it because of real time experience.
I often quote the Switzerland health care system as an example of tough questions that we will have to face at some point down the time line. Did you know that premature babies there are not resuscitate upon birth if they cannot draw breath? Did you also know that is the same with senior care with system failure? They don't extend life of a senior with multiple failures like intubation as example. Anyone in the business of paying claims knows that single most expensive bill in NICU for newborns and seniors in acute intensive care / hospital.
These decisions were made based upon cost vs. quality outcome. Are we as a nation prepared to make that type of decision or definition of when to incubate a newborn or a senior? To define the conditions? With a litigious society I think not. This is why we need tort reform. Without tort reform medical provider costs will never drop. Liability costs with medical providers are nearly half of operating expenses. With health insurance carriers it translates to about 10% of every premium dollar collected.
I don't think we are hearing about tort reform because most of the house and senate are lawyers. In the healthcare system there is no total innocence. Insurance executives with bonuses, doctors overbilling, hospitals overbilling because the street gang thug got dropped at their door with no insurance.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...