Posted by: tascblog | April 2, 2008

Decision 2008

Yes, it’s an election year, and we’ve been hearing plenty of discussion about universal health care.  Does all the talk concern TASC?  Not really.  We already expected some reforms in the nation’s health care landscape.  And while such reforms may be inevitable, we know it will be some time before they become a reality.  Indeed, any such reforms will not require a dramatic change in the delivery system.  For example, moving to a single payer system—a change which could pose a threat to TASC and our Providers—is still an unlikely idea and one that is far off in the distance.
The nation’s different political parties approach these issues from opposing points of view.  In my opinion, a Republican President will further the consumerism movement set in motion by the current administration. A Democratic President will push for universal health care with ingredients like government mandates, employer participation, and consumer responsibility, all with the objective of reducing the number of the nation’s uninsured.  I do not think a more aggressive and dramatic move will be implemented—or if implemented, successful—no matter who is in the White House come next January.
Here is what the front runners are saying:
Hillary Clinton:  Clinton believes in offering more choices and lowering costs. Under her proposal, there will be a choice of affordable plans from which to pick.  To help cover costs to working families, the plan will provide tax credits and will limit the amount that working families have to pay for health care.

John McCain:  McCain believes in personal responsibility and that insurance reforms should foster competition and innovation so as to increase the variety and affordability of insurance coverage available to American families.

Barack Obama:  Obama believes in making a new national health plan available to all Americans, similar to the plan available to members of Congress. Employers that do not make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute toward the costs of the national plan.

I have participated in the healthcare realm as a recipient, a father, a husband, an employee, an employer, an insurance agent (past professional life), and as a third party administrator of medical reimbursement plans.  I think this experience means I have a unique perspective on the matter.  From that perspective I offer you my opinion of the changes that will be coming; I support effective steps to modify the current system.  These steps should not threaten our superior system of health care—a system which is supported by a competitive and well-funded environment.  These steps should continue to promote responsibility on the part of the health care consumer.  These steps will most likely include partially mandated (federal or state level) incentives for a participatory system involving government, employers and individuals.  And finally, these steps will embody a major goal:  to override today’s massive separation of services across our nation’s socio economic classes and to reduce the number of our uninsured neighbors.

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