I attended an HR briefing about the Health Care Reform Act. Every time I attend one of these I learn something new. HCR has loads of new provisions, most of them using terms and general standards that have yet to be defined. It's mostly general concepts. As in most things coming out of Washington these days, it's not so well thought out.
The intent of this reform is admirable and there are certain provisions that will make an immediate and meaningful difference for the un(der)-insured in this country. But I can’t help thinking that we missed the mark on this one. Overly complicated, bureaucratic and not aimed at the real root of the problem.
It’s like health care is a henhouse. We are going to spend a lot of time and money patching holes and putting chicken wire over the whole thing to keep the chickens safe. The one thing we forgot to do though was get the fox out of the henhouse. I’m talking about the companies making assloads of money off of health care, the insurance companies and brokers and pharmaceuticals. They are profit driven. Any additional costs they incur will be passed on to the consumer. That's exactly what's happening with health care reform.
Stupid. Why did we create a system that hides the cost in a million different places? Why didn’t we just institute a national health care system funded by a new tax?
Today's speaker at the briefing perfectly illustrates what is holding us back from making such a bold change. He owns a brokerage firm. Oh, pardon me…. “benefits consulting” firm. He makes money from the insurance companies on commissions for policies he places with them. I knew what to expect the minute I took in his $1000 suit and gold, monogrammed cufflinks. 'Oh boy. This ought to be good' says me to myself.
His opening… “The good news is that the major elements of this law will not take effect until 2014. That’s two election cycles where we have the opportunity to put more business minded people in power.” Who is this "we" he is talking about?
On increasing the dependent age out to 26..... "So now we have to cover your slug of a kid who can't manage to leave the basement and find a job." Have you seen the unemployment statistics you moron?
On eliminating the pre-existing exclusion......"Anybody who finds themselves sick and in need of insurance can now get coverage even though up to that point they weren't doing the responsible, adult thing and buying insurance." Doesn't he realize how many people find themselves in a position of choosing between insurance and food?
Gratuitous references to his own wealth....... "I view chiropractic care as "essential" to my golf game." "I own the building my company is located in and rent space to many small businesses. How will they pay for rent and health care?"
This schlub had no sympathy for anybody who finds themselves in a position without health insurance. Stereotypical response from people of his ilk. He delivered the entire hour and a half presentation with a smug, little smirk on his face. After all, why not? He's secretly very happy about this change. Higher premiums means more commissions for him.
Health care won't truly be reformed until it becomes non profit. Heck I 'd even settle for "reasonable profit".