Quick response to Congressman Tim Walz as concerns #hcr

22 Sep

The current legislative proposals, especially the Baucus proposals are aligning with the fears I expressed earlier. To fix this, I propose the following.

1. Age related pricing ratios of 2:1 as proposed in HR3200 may not be viable for an insurance company in combination with all the other factors. However 5:1 as proposed by Baucus, without a govt option, or tight regulation is just a free gift to the insurance industry. Please find a middle ground, If no public option, then 2:1, if there is a public option 5:1 may be acceptable.

2. Please address the issues with medicare.

a. Shifting oncology and cardiac care to prevention is not the way to go, esp with a rapidly aging population who has not had the benefits of preventative care. If taxes need to go up to focus on prevention they do… but do not penalize the elderly over the young.

b. the donut hole is a disaster, and a gift to big pharma. Negotiate this away, with negotiated drug prices based upon volume usage. Ie if more people fall into the donut hole, taxes to the insurance company increase, or they negotiate prices.

c. physician compensation is a joke… it is not right to save money only on the part of the medical provider. Shift the cost savings burden by reducing subsidies to the insurance business, and regulate it such that they cannot pass it on to the customer… just as you do with physician reimbursement. It must be a shared pain thing.

3. Address the costs of healthcare by

a. uniform billing practices, its already in place for medicare, force it on private insurance business. This will reduce costs on the health care administration side, and will have negligible impact on the insurance side, being most already do this for medicare. However, it would seriously impact the ability to play accouting games…and that is a good thing.

b. consumer protection laws that require uniform disclosure of pricing. Healthcare is the only entity that sells you something, and then tells you the price months later.

c. consumer protection laws that require timely reimbursement of charges. The issue of reject and deny adds an incredible burden…. either A,its a valid charge, or B, its not… this can be accomplished via chargebacks to the insurance company. They will change their practices if it costs them money.

Beyond the above, I agree with the major points of the Obama administration. The problem is one of implementation, and a failure to really address the issue of escalating prices. We do need reform, and it may be that we can only get incremental reform… thats ok, as long as it does not set us back to 1940’s medicine in order to prop up the insurance business. Either public option, or much greater regulation. Free for all gifts to the insurance industry is not an option.


Ron Amundson


One Response to “Quick response to Congressman Tim Walz as concerns #hcr”

  1. Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 12:58 am #

    LOL, talk about hosed up formatting…. The fun of using webform cut and paste

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