Studies have shown that Medicare is more cost effective than the Affordable Care Act. Would you favor a national health insurance plan financed through general taxes in place of subsidizing individual insurance premiums? Why or why not?
I agree that using a public option is more cost effective than the ACA, which currently uses insurance firms as intermediaries. This discussion will be continually updated as I refine assumptions and dive into details about the ACA. It is my intent to do a considerable amount of research on how to improve medical care in the United States and will be the main focus of much of my research as an Economist.
When thinking about exactly what to write here, I decided to simply Google “medicare”, because while I have a general idea that it’s health care for senior citizens, I figured a simple and smart thing to do is read about an issue a bit more before writing about it. I didn’t know a lot of what I found. First off, Medicare was the name given to a medical system established for military dependents. In 1965, 4 years after its proposal, the creation of a health care program for those aged 65 or older, regardless of income or medical history was enacted. Obviously over the years, this has changed. Medicare is part of a significant number of Government Health Programs in the United States, these include:
- Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
- Indian Health Service
- Veterans Health Administration
- Military Health System/TRICARE
- Medicaid/State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
- State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
- Prescription Assistance (SPAP)
When you add to this the idea that we are also paying insurance companies to insure you through the ACA, this becomes entirely too complicated and convoluted. Let us instead opt for smaller government in this circumstance and combine these programs.
Larger hospitals can mean better service for the masses and shorter waits, greater opportunity for cross training, and even boons to local district economies. The argument that this will hurt the level of care that we currently have is ridiculous. Those who can afford superior medical care can still contract services out and choose private practices. Those who are wealthy enough to not require medical insurance will still have their Doctors of choice and I doubt superior talent will suffer as many will prefer the quiet of the local Doctor to the Hospital.
There is the argument of Government inefficiency, as related to the scandals that the VA has undergone in the prior years. I agree, this is a concern, one I share, but not just in medical services, in all levels of Government. Pork belly spending, inflated budgets and Government waste. It is high time that we update the medical system in this country and the quickest, most efficient way to do that is start forming mergers, just like in the business community.
The immediate economic impact is that two major industries to suffer, insurance and pharmaceutical firms, two industries that have experienced decades of record profits. Insurance firms are an intermediary that has a shoddy record on efficiency and use. Essentially they are a bottleneck in services. Your Doctor has to tell his assistant to bill this company by mail/fax/internet. Someone at this company then reviews the services and determines if they have to pay or if there is a possibility of lowering this cost. In a very simple analogy, what they save by limiting services to you is pure profit to you, since it was firms purpose to have the proper reserves for a customer, why they collected the premium in the first place.
As for pharmaceutical firms, all I can say is that when it comes to cheap drugs, Americans are the ones who really don’t want that wall built. Even Marijuana is more expensive in America than in Mexico, why is that? Xanex, Adderall, you name it, it’s cheaper in Mexico. Is there some huge pharmaceutical factory down there? Or is it legislation that hurts our citizens? There’s more to this, but over the next three months, I will go extremely deep into the medical services issues.