The highly contentious and volatile presidential election has kept us too busy to actually discuss what the next president is going to do about the crisis in the American health care system. This $3 trillion line item in the US economy is suffering from runaway cost inflation, collapsing insurance markets, and underwhelming outcomes. As a former executive of a large safety net hospital, I can tell you that this is a big deal.
Several states, pessimistic of a viable federal fix, have tried to craft at least stopgap solutions, mostly around access to care and, to a lesser extent, around cost and quality of care. None have succeeded. It’s likely that Colorado’s effort, on the ballot next week, is headed in the same direction.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim Initiative has identified an ambitious but logical framework for health care reform. Its three key goals include improved patient experience and quality, improved health of populations, and reduced cost.
What the Federal government could do and what they should do are two separate things. With Amendment 69, Colorado is doing the only thing possible, creating a state-wide system of universal health care because the Federal government won’t.
Single Payer Universal Care – Medicare for All is what we need. Removing the profit gauging insurance companies from between me and my doctor is critical. Putting hospitals on a budget and overseeing them like a public utility instead of being able to “compete” with expensive equipment and cutting ER access is essential. Taking into account the TOTAL cost of our current system is needed. There are so many hidden costs that it is not a simple task. I pay premiums, deductibles, co-pays, for things not covered and I pay more because some don’t have coverage and don’t pay their bills and I pay taxes for not only the poor but also for all the government employees with coverage and now taxes pay for ACA coverage. And, that does not include the actuarial costs of not treating sick people and how the ultimate cost goes up. For profit insurance companies don’t care about that last part – taxes pay the cost of their not covering people and they only look at the profit projections for the next year or two. They don’t give a crap about health outcomes. They only care about high salaries, stock prices and dividends.
It is really unfortunate that the author says “Putting ColoradoCare in place would double state spending overnight and give Colorado the highest income tax in the nation, making us immediately non-competitive in attracting businesses to locate in the state.” Framing the costs in this manner is at least a distortion. he fails to note the off-setting savings of premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles and care for those without insurance. Without the full picture, one thinks only of the expenses of ColoradoCare, not the savings. A kind word for this rhetorical technique would be “distortion.”
Thank you Joel
As usual, this article screams $38 billion – but does not subtract premiums, deductibles and co-pays that Colorado citizens will no longer pay. It does not subtract the Medical portion of workman’s comp that business and government will no longer pay.
Evaluate the financial impact fairly and you will see the scale tip in the other direction. Vote ColoradoCare YES!!!
Thank you Paula
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