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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Health Care 101 - 10 Steps to Better Coverage

Health Care 101

10 Steps to AFFORDABLE & SENSE-ABLE Health Care Coverage
with NO Government Mandate:

#1 - Tort Reform: By Limiting the awards in civil suits and preventing frivolous suits, we can reduce the cost of malpractice insurance for doctors and medical facilities, and thus reduce the cost of medical care. Tort lawyers will fight this, however, they will in short time find new prey to latch onto. Furthermore, by reducing the spectre of potential lawsuits, Doctors will be less inclined to order multiple and needless diagnostic tests. The threat of mal-pratice lawsuits force the use of these tests to cover all of their bases. Therefore, Tort Reform will reduce malpractice insurance, reduce unnecessary and costly medical tests, and reduce the overall cost of medical care.

#2 - Health Care Savings Accounts: Most current HSA accounts earn below an 1% interest rate. Normal savings accounts currently earn at least 3%, leaving a difference of over 2.5%. Why would anyone want to place their money into such a small return. Increase the interest rate of HSA account to equal or slightly above the market rate to encourage more people to invest in the HSA accounts. The more people utilize HSA accounts, the less they will tax government funded systems and reduce taxpayer liability.

#3 - Vouchers: For those who fall between the gap of eligibility for Medicare / Medicaid and the ability to afford to purchase an individual or family health insurance plan, (i.e - low & middle class income earners) offer an income based vouchers, to enable them to purchase a policy that fits their needs. Enable families and individuals to continue to make decisions about their own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as befits their life style and accept the consequences of those choices.

#4 - Policy Availability: Cease the monopoly of "in-state" insurance and allow individuals, families and businesses to purchase policies across state lines. This will increase competition reduce the cost of medical insurance and offer customers better benefits. Allow small business to draw from a pool, possibly run through the National Chamber of Commerce, thus lowering the premiums to small businesses, putting them on par with big businesses.

#5 - High Risk Plan Pool: Reasonable standards should be established as to "previous conditions" as to what should be considered deniable or not. For those who are uniformly defined by insurance law standards as "high risk" would fall into a "High Risk" pool and reduce the cost of medical insurance to the regular policy holder, by spreading the cost ratio for the insurance carrier. Furthermore, those who are already covered under a plan and become ill, injured or at risk, cannot have their coverage altered, be penalize or denied medical care.

#6 - Complaint Board: Create a non-partisan Complaint Board made of members without interest in the AMA, have worked as a lobbyist, or for the insurance industry to review denial of claims and medical coverage. By removing the complaint board from individual insurance carriers, you enable a more just review of complaints, reduce the number of complaints, thus reduce the cost of medical insurance. Streamline complaints to be heard in a time critical fashion.

#7 - Tax Cuts / Rebates: Enact Tax Cuts or Rebates to enable and encourage businesses of all sizes to offer employer based insurance plans. Additionally, offer the insurance companies a tax incentive to offer lower rate programs to individuals and small businesses and reduce the overall cost of medical insurance.

#8 - Portable Policies: Life is unpredictable and companies close, people change jobs and retire before they are eligible for Medicare. People should not be penalized for these life changes. For those who change jobs, get laid off or retire early, enable them to keep the coverage they currently have, should they not be offered a better policy. This may require a voucher if they leave a small business that cannot continue coverage, an entity that goes out of business or other unforeseen circumstances.

#9 - No Mandated Coverage: The People under the Constitution have the right to be stupid, although it isn't implicitly written. We also have the right to be secure from unreasonable Search and Seizure, To be secure in our persons, papers and property and To be treated equally. The HR 3200 bill of mandated health care would cause these rights to be violated. If a person gets ill and they chose not to purchase health care, they foot the bill themselves, they hurt themselves. Mandatory Health care effects every taxpayer. Let every family and individual decide for themselves! Additionally, Congress is attempting to extend their powers beyond those allotted to them by the Constitution, bringing HR3200 into the realm of unconstitutionality.

#10 - Electronic Portable Records: A credit card type of data storage, would cost under $20 and take up little space in your pocket or wallet. It will go with and where the patient goes. By remaining on the person of the patient, in cases of emergency medical care, the records are readily available. It can be maintained using the the data strip on the card or uploading data updates to the card. Place an individuals medical record on portable devices or accessible websites "voluntarily". Many of us have a real fear of over accessibility of medical records. Allow us the choice of methods and a discount for those who use portability. The ability of Doctors and medical facilities to access your complete medical record can reduce misdiagnosis and decrease cost of care for redundant tests. However, privacy concerns must be addressed. There is no reason for a podiatrist to look at a patients record of hair replacement.

Tell me what YOU think? Do I make sense, can we make this happen?

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