Is Health Reform About Health or $?

by Jay Deragon on 03/22/2010

So the Democrats were able to get the votes for the Health Reform Bill. However one must wonder if the bill was about health improvement or money.

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.

  1. Increase the Medicare tax on high-income households:
  2. Tax high-cost medical plans:
  3. Penalties for those who don’t get coverage:
  4. Require employers to pay if they don’t provide coverage:
  5. Impose new fees on the health industry
  6. Trim various health-related tax breaks
  7. 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.

{ 17 comments }

Mark Anderson April 30, 2010 at 3:15 pm

The health care reform act also comes with penalties. The penalty for those who do not maintain coverage is as follows:
$95 in 2014
$495 in 2015
$750 in 2016
And as indexed for the further years.

These amounts are cut in half for individuals under 18 years of age. The House Bill amendments retain the regulatory structure but change the fine amounts from $495 to $395 (in 2015) and from $750 to $695 (in 2016).
.-= Mark Anderson´s last blog ..Providing health insurance for your college graduate =-.

Anna Filipova March 29, 2010 at 8:49 am

Is Health Reform About Health or $? http://bit.ly/bs9luF

sizzix big shot March 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I normally surf all over the web because I have the tendancy to read too much (which isn’t always a good thing because the majority of blogs just copy from each other) but I want to say that yours contains some great substance! Thanks for stopping the trend of just being another copycat site! 😉

Max R Rothermel March 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Very educational – always spread your message. Getting excited about an update. For too long now have I had the need to begin with my personal blog. Guess if I put it off any longer I will never ever take action. I’ll make sure to include you in my Blogroll. Many thanks!!

textpack March 23, 2010 at 2:28 am

So the Democrats were able to get the votes for the Health Reform Bill. Is health reform about health or $s? http://bit.ly/a1CQlD

Allen Howell March 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm

As an owner / CEO of a small business I am concerned that this turns into another tax on top of all the other taxes we pay. Our company provides insurance coverage for our employees. We pay a portion and the employees pay a portion. This year it went up almost 20%. We do the right thing for our people but government seems to make it harder every year.

I agree with you. This bill does nothing to fix the problem and only transfers costs.

It does not address the fact that a large portion of health costs go the legal system and trial lawyers who get rich on lawsuits and also drive up the cost of the doctors malpractice insurance premiums and force them to go overboard in testing to cover their backside.

It also does not address any efficiency issues with healthcare. If we cant figure out how to provide better care for less money we will get the same high costs, only now higher because government will get a percentage for being in the middle for nothing.

IN the mean time, small business people will continue to work hard every day in this economy to innovate and make things better so the guys in DC can take credit for fixing the problems.

Allen Howell March 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

RT @TopsyRT: Is Health Reform About Health or $? http://bit.ly/b9EqQa

JDeragon March 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Today's post: Is Health Reform About Health or $? http://bit.ly/bs9luF

dan March 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I wouldn’t mind mixing a social currency into the health care reform.

Joe Grasso March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

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Achievers Network March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

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Aron Stevenson March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

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smconnection March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

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prblogs March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

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Angela Suddarth March 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

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The Social CEO March 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

The Social CEO Is Health Reform About Health or $?: So the Democrats were able to get the votes for the Health Ref… http://bit.ly/cWoWso

JDeragon March 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

Today's post: Is Health Reform About Health or $? http://bit.ly/bs9luF

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