There is no doubt that health care in America is sick and in need of improvement. Whatever solution we wind up with will come from Congress and we can only hope that we don’t wind up with a cure that is worse than our present situation.
According to an article I just read the “Healthy Americans Act” would eliminate employer sponsored health insurance coverage in favor of mandated private insurance for everyone over the age of 19. It offers subsidies for lower income Americans and penalties for people that do not comply with this mandatory coverage. There would be guarantee issue plans required to be offered to everyone. Honestly, I have not read the whole document (see link above), but at first glance this doesn’t sound half bad at all. It would take employers out of the health insurance benefits business, which is a fairly radical change but one with some appeal. I think many companies would welcome that with open arms provided that their employees still have access to quality affordable health insurance benefits.
The competing proposal is from Max Baucus of Montana. His “Call to Action“ plan for reform would also include mandates for coverage, but use government run health insurance pools to make cheaper plans supposedly available for more Americans. However, I think that this would require heavy government spending to subsidize the government pools in order to make the plans cheap enough to compete against private insurance plans.
Where the money will come from is a big issue. The polls that I have seen indicate that the majority of Americans are not favoring tax increases to support health care reform. I will write more on this and how it might impact our clients here in Colorado as time allows. Conventional wisdom is that it may take 2 years before a compromise on health care reform will be reached.
Got an opinion? I would love to hear it and feel free to write a comment below.