Their own Congressional Budget Office report published last December clearly states that mandates are unlikely to give universal coverage. What about transients, homeless, aliens, foreign visitors, mentally handicapped, or those Americans who are too suspicious of the government to ever register for anything? I cannot believe it! Is anyone in Washington awake? Is anyone in Washington un-lobbied.? Has anyone in Washington thought this through? This is truly unbelievable.
Healthcare reform is simple. Improve Medicare and then let current enrollees pay their supplement money directly into Medicare. Then funnel the money and patients in the Medicare Advantage plans back into Medicare. Then expand enrollment to children and pregnant women and roll the money from all the plans that currently cover them, into the new system. Lastly, offer the new plan side by side to the rest of America at their places of employment and on the open market. For-profit plans can compete in every way, except for their profit margin itself.
Congress dances around addressing the 200-400 billion dollars that currently is sequestered for healthcare delivery by the for profit plans in the form of overhead and profit margins, for which patients receive no real value above basic Medicare and a supplement. Congress is ignoring the mounds of paperwork driven by the for-profits. Congress is turning a blind eye to the resource rationing that is currently done by the "for-profits".
Regardless, none of their funding attempts addresses reform of the healthcare delivery system itself. They are simply finding expensive ways to cover more people under the current system, as dysfunctional as it is. What about incentives to actually make providers better? What about ways to encourage Americans to want to be healthy? What about putting medical decisions back into the hands of the providers and patients and removing the "for-profit" companies from those decisions? What about reform of the malpractice industry? Is this too much to ask of a President who is a lawyer and a Congress composed mostly of lawyers? What about conflict of interest? Who watches out for the interest of the average American?
President Obama, do not let Congress compromise and politicize healthcare reform into a worthless plan that will be a orphan child that no one will claim, once it begins to fall apart. You, as well as Congress, owe this to the American people.
Mark E. Green MD
463 Physicians' Office Building
Blount Memorial Hospital
Maryville, TN 37804