Health Care Simplified<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Kerby Anderson
There is a new book out that suggests that we would get better health care if the complexity of health care coverage was made simpler. Many of us may not agree with the specifics of the book, but the general theme of the book makes sense. A massive bureaucracy (whether an insurance company bureaucracy or a government bureaucracy) is enough to give anyone a headache that regular aspirin won't alleviate.
Healthcare, Guaranteed by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel tries to apply the KISS principle to health care (keep it simple stupid). In the place of the massive amounts of rules and regulations promoted by insurance companies and the government, he proposes a voucher for health insurance that would cover the same benefits that members of Congress receive.
Insurance companies would have to accept the vouchers, and each person would be able to choose from the array of doctors, hospitals, and health plans. Also, a National Health Board would provide oversight. That's about it.
Now, I know this all might sound politically naïve, until you realize one important fact. Dr. Emanuel has a younger brother by the name of Representative Rahm Emanuel (who is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives). He is well aware that a simple solution may be a tougher sell than the current system. But he is also betting that Americans want action on health care and would like the system to be simpler not more complicated.
Each year most of us receive from our insurance companies something that looks like a telephone directory for a small town. Those are all the rules we need to follow in filing a medical claim. Did you read yours cover-to-cover? I didn't think so. Those of you on Medicare probably aren't any more familiar with all the rules and regulations established by the federal government.
Paying for a voucher system might be a challenge, but putting power in the hands of patients might just be the change we need. At the very least, it is worth serious consideration. So let's let the debate begin. I'm Kerby Anderson, and that's my point of view.
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