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What Is The Health Care Reform Really About?
President Obama has been very busy in his first months in office. His stated intention to ensure every American has access to affordable, quality healthcare is very admirable, and by my estimation, certainly worth pursuing. I only wish I felt a little more optimistic about the solution the industry leaders in healthcare have put before the President. The promise to cut billions or even trillions of dollars from an already broken healthcare system, doesn’t exactly ring true. It seems this would be somewhat like a home owner that knows their home was full of black mold and infested with termites, but with every passing year they fail to address the crucial issues of mold and termites, and they slap a new coat of paint on the wall instead. With each passing year, they hope this will solve their dilemma of rotting walls, until eventually their home falls down around them. I’m afraid the woes of our healthcare system will need a lot more than a nice new coat of paint. If there is not a good, viable game plan, it doesn’t matter how much money is on the table – it doesn’t matter how many times you paint the house.

We continually hear about the masses of uninsured Americans who have no access to reliable healthcare. I for one would like the ability to distinguish between who is in that group for legitimate reason and who is in that group voluntarily. Is it fair that you, I and millions of other gainfully employed Americans contribute a portion of our hard earned dollars each month to pay for a percentage of our healthcare premiums, while the co-worker next to us makes the decision to waive that same employer sponsored healthcare plan because he says he can’t afford it? In most cases, this healthcare plan costs much less than the co-worker would have to pay for an individual policy and it probably has broader, more comprehensive benefits. In some instances, an individual policy might be cheaper, but does the co-worker ever take the time and effort to figure this out? I think many do not. What happens when he/she, or a family member needs medical attention – say for a bad cold? That’s right - they show up at the emergency room door for their basic healthcare needs. This is not a good solution for our over-burdened healthcare system, as the average cost for an emergency room visit is five (5) times more expensive than the cost of general care in a family physicians office. Keep in mind, this doesn’t even begin to address what happens when catastrophic health issues arise for the uninsured. I ask you, is the co-worker one of the many uninsured with no access to healthcare coverage or is he simply being irresponsible? If you see this as irresponsible, then you have come to the same conclusion I did, and for that matter, most of the media pundits. Our problem is not that uninsured Americans don’t have access to healthcare. Our problem is the small percentage of Americans who actually step up and protect themselves and their families by participating in their employer sponsored group health plans or purchasing the coverage by way of individual policies.

This is just one example of the maladies that infect our current healthcare system. The others are too onerous to dissect in this short article. Please be prepared ! Every person, every employer, as well as all of us in the healthcare industry need to be prepared! You, the consumer and we, who do our best to deliver affordable, quality healthcare products to the consumer every day, must be ready, willing and able to give a little to find the trillions of dollars promised to President Obama.