Sunday, August 2, 2009

WWDS Rreaders on US Healthcare

Now that the comments have died down on this one, I am summarizing here what I think were the prevalent themes voiced by the readership:

1. The biggest problems are "lack or personal responsibility" and "overall costs" with the former driving the latter in many ways.

2. Personal responsibility ain't gonna happen. But education might move some in the right direction.

3. Another driver of costs is the fact that they are unconstrained by usual market forces because neither the consumers nor the prescribers of US healthcare are paying for it.

4. Requiring everyone to buy insurance (i.e. contribute to the overall pot of funds covering the nation's care) may be a solid step in the right direction. The impoverished will need subsidies.

Note: of the 45 million uninsured, about 15 million can easily afford coverage but choose to save the money and rely on emergency room care as needed and about 15 million more are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and simply have not signed up. The real problem is the final 15 million (about 5% of the population).

5. While there is no requirement for employers to offer health plans, it seems to be a reasonably effective tactic for attracting talent and can also keep a workforce healthy and productive. However, any suggestion that employers be "required" to offer medical coverage seems out of place.

6. Thomas Jefferson, a democrat, apparently wrote the mantra for today's republican's. I totally agree with Jefferson's philosophy but I do think healthcare, like infrastructure, must be organized on a mass scale.

7. Some whipper-snapper out there thinks I'm old and another whipper-snapper has no rental insurance.

1 comment: