2009-08-15

Thoughts on health insurance reform from a small-business owner in Maryland

I heard Mike Vallerie talk on the Kendel & Bob Ehrlich Show this morning. He came across as thoughtful, fair and practical. His four key ideas:
  1. Tort reform modelled on worker's comp.
  2. Roll back the definition of health insurance so that it really is insurance: "A means of indemnity against occurrence of an uncertain event."
  3. Individuals should be responsibe for taking care of themselves (i.e. paying for expected, forseeable expenses), and
  4. Level the playing field so that small businesses get a fair shake compared to big business.
His website is MikesPlan.net.

1 comment:

  1. The solution as put forth breaks down into 4 very simple key points: 1.A tort reform that will eliminate mal-practice premiums for all providers of “out patient services” and a commission to better police the medical industry. The BBO claims, that Tort Reform is much simpler than everyone thinks! As the BBO points out “Worker Compensation is actually a process of tort reform where the employee is protected by a schedule of fees and does not have the right to sue the employer. Therefore, since we have an excellent working model of tort reform, then why recreate the wheel, just copy it and retrofit”.
    2.A rollback of the definition of covered medical services to eliminate the use of insurance on routine office visits, couple with expanded use of HSA’s. Insurance was originally established to guard against risk of financial devastation resulting from debilitating disease such as cancer. Office visits are not a risk they are a common event, a certainty. To fund office visits through insurance premiums is simply a more expensive way to pay for the office visit. With so many Americans using high co-pays and HSA’s to pay for routine care, it is not a big leap to simply exclude these services from the definition off eligible for insurance reimbursement. In fact, by excluding this level of service from being eligible for insurance reimbursement we have eliminate a layer of administrative service and expense both for the insurance carrier and the physician’s office. The creation of supplemental policies would undermine the positive effect of this change. HSA’s allow the individual to use tax exempt dollars to pay for medical services even if those services are not recognized as covered health insurance expense. 25% of every dollar that flows through an insurance company is eaten up in administrative cost. By implementing points 1 & 2 Americans should realize a reduction in the cost of health care of 35 to 45%. In addition, with the elimination of malpractice premiums on outpatient services, physician will return to private practice, making accessibility to medical care easier. With more physicians returning to private practice and with the elimination of insurance company involvement in out patient services, we will see physicians establishing office visit rates at a price consumers can afford.
    3. Personal Responsibility of the individual to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their health. That person failing to exercise this personal responsibility should bear an additional financial responsibility in the form of a higher premium or a premium tax. Currently Individuals who smoke cigarettes pay higher rates for life Insurance. Hence Individuals who smoke or are significantly overweight should be subject to a premium tax. 4.Small business health Insurance premiums are significantly higher than premiums for big business, (in many cases more than double). Small Business needs a mechanism that will level this playing field. If points, (as listed above): 1, 2 and 3 are adopted, then this program should decrease all group premiums by 45%.
    The high cost of heath care is the result of exploitation at every level: doctors, lawyers, hospitals and patients. Health care is not going to become less expensive simply because someone has found a new source of revenue to tax.
    Eliminate the involvement of insurance carriers at the routine care level of service and you have not only removed the incentive to exploit the system, but you have also eliminated 25% administrative cost on those services.
    Install a System of Tort Reform for the medical industry and you have not only remove the incentive to exploit every medical mishap for every dollar possible, but you have also eliminated malpractice premiums which will result in an immediate 20% reduction in the cost of Health Care. It is our opinion that any solution to a health care crisis that fails to include these four simple and basic points is a waste of all taxpayers’ time and money. For more detailed information please consult our website at www.Mikesplan.net.

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