Monday, November 19, 2007

Health Care and the Average Joe

Welcome to "Your Best Health Care" Blog. Over the past 9 years, I have been involved in health insurance and the health care industry. I have watched the cost of insurance and health spiral upward to the point of ridiculously high rates and cost of care. As a result of increased costs in the U.S., health care is an issue that has come to the front of the political parade over the past couple of years, and is a major concern for most Americans, especially the Average Joe. USA Today reported in 2005 from several sources that the cost of health care is going up much faster than wages, and medical costs affect our lifestyle.

Contrary to public opinion, health care in the United States is not a right. It is a privilege. Most working age Americans pay for their health care via employee based health insurance plans. Often, those who are self-employed purchase insurance directly from an agent who represents an insurance company and pays a hefty price for the premium, especially if there are any health issues that may need additional coverage. And the age of the insured is taken into account, as well as a host of other issues that health underwriters must consider. New medical treatments, rising prices and growing demand from aging baby boomers are expected to continue to fuel rapid inflation in healthcare for years. The underlying health care costs are not going down.

Now that health care has become the new political football, there are a variety of proposals in the market that are being propogated. Politicians and legislators are calling for universal coverage, which translates to free health care for those who don't want to or cannot pay for it. However, free health care is not free. Someone has to pay for it--the American taxpayer either directly though higher taxes or indirectly through higher insurance premiums to offset care for the indigent and the uninsured. The Memphis Business Journal reported in August, 2006, that
young adults (19-29) account for a huge percentage of under-65 uninsured—over 10 million healthy adults with no insurance; covering the uninsured is another topic too large to include in this initial blog.

The Average Joe needs a way for relief in health care. We cannot expect to provide free coverage like Canadians and those that live in the U.K. receive. That would bankrupt the government and be horrific for anyone who needs medical attention. Besides, who wants Uncle Sam to tell you what doctor to see and where you can go to get medical attention? The increased spending on health care, combined with the trend by private insurers to pass more costs to consumers, means fewer people, particularly the working poor, will be able to afford health care in the coming years. Americans cannot afford to pay for universal health care.

Health care in the United States is the best in the world, and Americans deserve the best. As a result, our costs are higher. And costs continue to escalate. There are solutions, and we need to think outside the traditional health care box to contain increases in the cost of care without decreasing the quality of care. Let's work on it.

Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I concure - The only solution to our problem is Hilary!