Healthcare — there is no right way . . . . only increased complexity and costs

My sister is a fellow . . . . now wait, before you get too excited, she is a skilled and accomplished actuarial fellow who leads her firm which specializes in analyzing health care plans to project the costs of alternative benefit programs . . . . with a level of professional accomplishment that makes me very proud of her.

During a recent exchange of emails she updated me on her work and shared the following:

“Work has been very busy ever since health care reform passed.  I’m glad it has brought us work, but there is certainly a lot of weirdness going on.  I can’t say that I think this is all going to work very well.  It seems we have fixed the access problem but not the cost, so by the time the mandate goes into place in 2014, no one will be able to afford to buy it.  I worked on setting up the federal high risk pool in six states.  We built it, but few people are coming because even at regular rates, people can’t afford it.   And that’s with the feds putting $5 billion into it for subsidies.  What a mess.  I did support doing SOMETHING, and still do, but some of this is just plain stupid.  The health insurance industry is likely to die a slow painful death as we work our way toward a totally public program for all.  I sort of wish they had just done that and gotten it over with.  Now it will drag on for another five or ten years.  You are probably hoping for a repeal.  That could happen I suppose, but wouldn’t solve the cost issue.  That’s what has to be fixed.”

Fixing cost issues clearly isn’t the focus of this current administration and congress.  Their initiatives to drive change in everything they touch have been crafted to limit our realization of what the true costs of their actions are until after we have the opportunity to replace them in 2010 and 2012.

The size of the costs, when realized, clearly will cause irreparable damage to our economy and the life styles we have come to accept as the American way of life.  The uncertainties of how and when these costs will impact businesses has contributed to a reluctance on the part of business leaders to make the types of investments in their businesses that are necessary to drive a healthy economy.

Who is working this problem to clearly define the extent and timing of these future costs  . . . . and then presenting their conclusions before the elections in terms that the voters of this country can understand?

  • How much will each major initiative cost me and my children in increased taxes?
  • What price increases will we have to pay for things because of increased taxes imposed on those who provide us services and products?
  • What choices will I and my children have for personal healthcare?
  • As I age will my choices for healthcare be limited or eliminated?

Oh the uncertainty of it all!


About Tom Samson
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