CNN Money reports: The political whirlwind that surrounded the House’s historic health reform votes on Sunday was powered by many issues. Cost was chief among them. Here’s a breakdown of some of the ways health reform would be paid for.
- Increase the Medicare tax on high-income households:
- Tax high-cost medical plans:
- Penalties for those who don’t get coverage:
- Require employers to pay if they don’t provide coverage:
- Impose new fees on the health industry
- Trim various health-related tax breaks
- Create a new long-term care insurance program
In the first 10 years, the program it is expected to take in more money than it pays out, which is why the CBO says it would reduce the deficit by $70 billion. But in the second decade and beyond, the program is projected to pay out more than it takes in, and will therefore contribute to the deficit.
That’s why some say that the CLASS Act is a budget gimmick that will not contribute to the potential of health reform to reduce the deficit.
Do These Changes Improve Health?
Call me stupid but none of the seven reforms listed above have anything to do with improving health rather they have everything to do with moving money around. Sure “health care and insurance cost money. The root cause of cost lies upstream from current “cost results”.
Health care is a system of care and mitigating the cost of health risk. The system of “care” is bloated with excessive rework, waste and bureaucracies that do not add value to either treatment or patience behavior. Insurance is nothing more than “spreading risk” across multiple providers and users. It would seem obvious that to reduce the cost of the system then you have to improve the system of care and reduce the relevant risk that drive cost up.
Spreading risk by taxing doesn’t improve the system. Creating a government system laced with excessive rework, waste and bureaucracies that do not add value to either treatment or patience behavior doesn’t improve the system.
This so called “reform” was more about money and politics than truly improving the system of health care and risk mitigation. Unless you improve the system the results will not improve. Without improving the system you are only adding cost. That knowledge has been around long enough that one would think our leaders would understand it rather than ignore it.
Is this health reform or a money reform? It appears to be an inefficient move to simply control money without improving anything.