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Medicare Part C for All

Posted by Joe Antle on April 17, 2017 7:35 AM EDT
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Here's another great article about a possible solution to the health insurance insurance crisis that seems to be never-ending....

...and to me it seems to have all leaders in the insurance industry, healthcare provider community, government and policy makers in a stand-off with no "cure in sight".

A very special thanks to one of my very good friends with Optima Health for sharing the Forbes article in the link below.  This is a very good article, and definitely headed in the “right” direction (or shall I say “left"-better yet “correct” direction)?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2017/04/12/medicare-part-c-for-all-a-proposed-hatch-warren-bill/#373bd0516b98

My only addition to the premise of this article, if the author asked my opinion about how relevant or realistic the premise might be, is that it would not be enough of a solution alone, standing alone on its own exclusive merit.

In my view, without creating a meaningful and self-evident "free market component" the idea of Medicare Part C for All as a critical catalyst for driving change on its own merit alone would be that it would not be an optimum solution in and of itself for at least four major reasons which you'll find in the points below:

In order to be adopted in the short term, and to not only work from a political perspective but to work in reality in the face of "intransigence" (both in the political sense and in the practical sense of actually being an meaningful and sustainable improvement to our current morass) it would have to have a really significant "free market" component to make it fly, much less soar above the madding crowd.   And the author's suggestion of letting private insurers compete on the government-sponsored "basic" health insurance alone doesn't overcome the issue of adverse selection.

So, therefore, here are some notions for how this basic idea of "Medicare Part C for All" could be improved and why it needs "more juice":

  • Many healthy citizens (fiscally and physically) should be able to "Buy Up" all sorts of enhanced features just as they do today-and therein could lie additional profitability for the private insurers and for healthcare providers as well.

  • Most importantly, the author doesn't deal with the root cause of why health insurance for all would be hard to make work-there is not incentive for reducing healthcare costs and there is not incentive (positive or negative) to have people actually be better healthcare consumers AND live healthier lives.

  • In order to really bring down the cost of healthcare and to inspire a critical mass of population change, the focus of change needs to be centered on local ommunities and consumer behavior in nature.  It will require a "collective impact" whereby population healthy living practices and cultures change as a result of collaborative efforts of a host of disparate "players" in the community. 
  • Finding programs that can leverage the "wisdom of the crowd" and "the power of the other" should promote "working...well together".  Programs should incentivize and bring together providers, employers, governmental entities, educational organizations, non-profits, families and friends and volunteers.
  • The whole healthcare system should be based on quality and results-profitability should move from selling more services for fees to paying for results of keeping people healthy, recovering quickly and staying on track and rewarding medical procedure improvements thta produce better outcomes for less dollars.  

Helping people, help each other to help themselves be better healthcare consumers and live healthier lives still seems to me like "it takes a village". Speaking of dollars, this is just my two cents worth...:)  

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