UnityPoint Health has expanded their partnership with Coventry Health Care to provide high-performance network plans, that complement our approach to patient care. Republicans, like McCain, on the other hand, build their health reform plans on the classic American foundation of rugged individualism” promoting choice and personal responsibility. McCain argues that we already spend too much on health care and says his plan will not cost more than that since he will rearrange existing tax benefits to provide the incentives and support necessary for a more efficient system. Health insurance is more affordable for people because he spends many billions of dollars subsidizing access for everyone.
Affordability – Affordability is more about shifting the cost of insurance to the government then it is making a more efficient U.S. health care system. Portable Health Coverage For All: While Obama does not have an individual mandate to purchase health insurance; it is likely that he would cover most of those who are uninsured today because of his generous subsidies for low-income Americans. God’s goodness will, Bishop stated emphatically, ultimately win against Coventry.
Obama goes on to outline a long list of quality initiatives that include disease management programs, coordinated care, transparency about cost and quality of care, improved patient safety, aligning incentives for excellence, comparative effectiveness reviews, and reducing disparities in health care treatments for the same illness. Obama makes investments in health information technology an important part of his cost containment strategy. Obama would make the insurance markets more competitive and efficient by creating the National Health Insurance Exchange” to promote more efficient competition and he would set a minimum health cost ratio for insurers—not defined in detail.
Reducing insurance company overhead is important but constitutes only a small percentage of costs and those overhead costs have been increasing at the rate of general inflation while health care costs have been increasing by two to four times the basic inflation rate in recent years. Obama won’t do it, not because he doesn’t like government intervention, but because he doesn’t want to offend key stakeholders who could derail any meaningful health care reform effort.
The Democrats learned a very powerful lesson in 1994 when many of the special interests all united in opposition to the Clinton Health Plan. All of the health IT, prevention, wellness, and the like will not reduce costs by any big amount at least in the short term. Obama avoids the notion that their cost containment list will be inadequate because it is politically expedient to do so—they aren’t going to risk their health care reform proposals by taking on the big stakeholders head-on. I have been convinced for some time that we will actually do health care reform in two parts—access first and cost containment second.