American Health Care

.. fit. The Health Security plan creates incentives for health care providers to compete on the basis of quality, service and price. It unleashes the power of the market and puts American consumers in the driver’s seat. Consumers choose from whom and how they get their care.

The plan empowers each state to set up one or more health alliances that contract with health plans and bargain on behalf of area consumers and employers. Health plans must meet national standards for coverage, quality, and service set by the National Health Board. But each state tailors its approach to local needs and conditions. The Health Security plan frees the health care system of much of the paperwork and regulation, allowing doctors, nurses, hospitals and other health providers to focus on providing high-quality care. It cracks down on abuse, reforms malpractice law and policy and outlaws insurance practices that hurt small businesses and imposes the first national standards for the protection of patient privacy and confidentiality in medical information and records.

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This plan that has been developed by this movement is under serious scrutiny by the people that don’t want to see a change, mainly Republicans. Their main argument is that by allowing the states to run health care insurance agencies will run out of control. Unfortunately, reforms have generally relied on increasing government control rather than expanding market choices. A review of nine states’ reforms reveals a host of negative consequences: insurance premiums increase; access to medical care is not improved; jobs are lost; spending on Medicaid goes up; insurance companies leave the market; and medical care is explicitly rationed. The Republicans are completely against state run health care and are fighting for federal government health control.

The Republican plan allows workers to keep their health insurance if they leave or lose their job, even if a worker has a pre- existing condition. Allows the self- employed to deduct from their taxes 80 percent of their health insurance premiums . Allows the self-employed and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to open tax-free Medical Savings Accounts to pay for routine medical expenses. In the year 2000, MSAs will be made available to businesses with more than 50 workers unless Congress prevents the expansion . Allows tax deductions for long-term health care, including nursing-home and home-health care.

Fights fraud and abuse in the health care system and reduces burdensome paperwork. The Republican national health plan that would be funded by the federal government and administered by the federal government. The plan would fully cover everyone via a comprehensive public insurance pool, paid for by taxes from individuals and businesses. The plan has provisions to limit over-treatment and insufficient care, designed to both protect patient interests as well as contain costs. Costs would also be controlled by cutting the current administrative overload and through health care planning.

The plan would not result in an increase in total health expenditures. The people who are now uninsured will be insured with funds deriving from massive savings that will occur from the elimination of the inherent waste in the current system. With more than 1500 insurance companies and virtually countless payment plans and policies, our administrative costs have exploded. A single payer system has a much more basic payment scheme. Doctors would spend less time on paperwork, and potentially more time with patients. Clinics and hospitals would need fewer staff members, and would require less costly, redundant equipment.

The details of the Republican plan are as followed. All essential care would be incorporated into the plan, including: mental health, acute care, ambulatory care, long term care and home health care, prescription drugs and medical supplies, rehabilitation services, occupational therapy, and preventive medicine. Exclusions would be made for unnecessary and ineffective procedures. These exclusions would be determined by expert panels, most probably made of doctors, nurses, other health care workers, and health planners. Everyone in the U.S. would receive a national health care plan card, with necessary identification encoded on it.

The card can then be used to gain access to any fee-for-service practitioner, hospital or clinic. HMO members can receive non-emergency care through the HMO. As mentioned before, to implement the national health program, health care costs do not need to increase. It would however produce a major shift in payment toward government and away from private insurers and out-of-pocket payments. Individuals and businesses would pay the same amount for health care, on average, but the payments would be in the form of taxes. The taxes contributing to the plan can be found for businesses, for instance, by adding up the amount spent currently by business for health care. This would approximately add up to a 9% tax increase for midsize and large employers .

Hospitals and clinics would receive a global sum on a yearly basis, in addition to allowances for new technology. Funds would be distributed to physicians and other health care workers in one of three ways: through fee-for-service arrangements with a simplified billing schedule, through capitation, paying health care providers on the basis of how many patients they serve, or through global budgets established for hospitals and clinics employing salaried health care professionals. The debate stands now between letting the states run health care or continuing control by the federal government. Both make valid points as to why they are the way to go, but my stance after careful thought is one of compromise. Let the federal government standardize health care while the state governments fund it on a state to state level. With a national standard to follow prices would be forced to keep the same through out America.

Procedures for problems would not be questioned. Finally there will be less paperwork. Making the state governments fund their own health care system at first lance seems to be cost inefficient. At another look and a explanation I can dispute that. With the government in total control it had one big pile of money it had to divide to all the states and no real way to determine how to divide it. With the individual states involved in funding health care, they know the size of their population, who needs care in their population and can do a more efficient job on a smaller scale.

Also by letting the governments on the state level run everything the problem of the government giving to little to states that need funding and to much to states that don’t need it will not occur. Unfortunately due to the way the government handles major changes health care reform will most likely be debated for another ten years. The way the debate is moving it seems to be heading towards the state controlled health care, but there doesn’t appear to be enough power behind the movement to get it approved. The dream of universal coverage s it a dream or is it a near future for all Americans, only with patience by the people will they find out. Social Issues.


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