Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Health Care - Timing is Everything

Most TV, print, and radio news programs have discussed the Health Care Reform  (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconcilliation Act)  and how it is impacting the country and employers/businesses. 

I remember being excited when some proponents of the measures talked about mandatory health insurance and how it would bring costs down through competition, especially if people could get insurance from any state, not just the one in which they lived.

I imagined searching the web in much the way we do for loans and other types of insurance.  The company that could offer me the best deal would win my or my company's business. 

But as states begin to sue and employers talk about raising premiums I have to rethink this.  What is wrong?  Why isn't this a good thing?  Competition is always a good thing in our counry, isn't it?

Well, if we look at auto insurance or even long term care insurance and annuitites - the premise for the insurer is - most people are not going to wreck their car, get debilitating dementia OR out live their own money (ok only the first one seems realistic these days, and THAT is the problem.)

Now is not the time to add people to health insurance rolls because (according to the CDC) fifty percent of the adults in America have at least one chronic disease.  And we can't  expect children to help out, 20% of them are obese and thus, very likely to have risk factors for chronic disease(hypertension and high cholesterol) if not chronic disease out right(diabetes and heart disease).

We do not have enough people who will NOT need medication and surgery to make the programs profitable.  We have too few healthy people to cushion the provider. 

What insurance company wants to operate on margin, if not worse.

Perhaps we need to invest the money in prevention for a few years first! 

No comments: