Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
How are WE paying for healthcare?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Lot’s of chatter out there about health care reform. A complete look at the topic exceeds the reasonable space of any blog. I have decided to put my 2 cents into the discussion in small pieces.
The debate is messy for one of the same reasons that education reform is a messy topic. For the most part, the people that get the service are not the people directly paying the service providers. Also, you can pay a variety of prices for the same basic service. For fun, let’s look at our healthcare through an analogous look at our eating habits.
Imagine the uproar if you went to your favorite fast food place, the Greasy Glutton, and ordered your preferred meal. However, before your price came up, there were discussions about your place of employment, the level of food plan you chose during the enrollment period, and other factors that helped them to price your meal. That’s what we do with healthcare.
Digging a little deeper, imagine if more of that pricing was dependent on your employer. For those more health conscious employers, questions come up about your exercise patterns and quantity of unhealthy food you have eaten in the past month. The worse your diet, the more you pay for the greasy meal.
If you eat at the Healthy Hut, the questions might be the same, but the pricing would be better. The better your diet, the more of a chance that you will be a healthy and productive worker.
Much of this links back to the risk you present to the employer, and more importantly, the company that manages the risk and pays for your food (or healthcare.) The insurance companies are usually the groups with the money that influence behavior based on how and why they allocate funds to the service providers.
What to do, what to do?
Do we get healthcare for all?
Do we get healthcare for some?
How much healthcare do you really want?
If there is no additional cost, the answers will still vary by person. Some people like to have the comfort of a medical professional while others just don’t like doctors, hospitals and the associated structure. Some folks will gladly accept some things from the local drug store and be done. Others want a 4th opinion on the sore throat.
As I lead into the next chunk, I believe the basic look of public healthcare is already out there. We just don’t use it widely…yet.