Changes to Health Coverage after 2009

There may be health coverage changes after 2009, depending on the type of health care reforms that are passed. These health care reforms will be up to Congress and the deadline is December 31st, 2009.  On the table is the public health care option and our current insurance system. Our current health care system is a private business. The government regulates the insurance providers, but it is basically a privatized business.

Public Health Care Option

A public health care option will help insure approximately 33 to 35 million uninsured Americans. It is estimated that it will provide insurance for nearly 95 percent of the population. The plan calls for upper income earners making $500,000 or more to pay for the option along with cost savings through such things as electronic health records.

The pubic option is a source of tremendous controversy and push back from members of the minority party who have unanimously resisted any attempt to reform health care to the insurance lobby and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Each of these groups have a vested interested in protecting the status quo by killing reform and proposing instead that private insurers being incentivized to fix the problems that they created in the delivery of healthcare and providing health insurance.

Reduce Costs

The proposed changes are supposed to reduce costs and provide greater access for many Americans. The opposition argues that the increased number of insured parties will overwhelm emergency rooms and other medical clinics and increase costs. Proponents of reform insist that health care costs will remain relatively lower because there will be more preventive measures, and therefore less people in emergency.

Creating a German Style Healthcare System

It is difficult to predict any other changes that may occur. The final legislation will come from our Congressional leaders. Many reform followers insist that the healthcare system should look more like the system provided in Germany. The German system established that employers will be the main sponsor of health insurance plans. However, there is a competing public option to hold costs down and keep insurance companies honest.

Alternative to Inaction

The alternative to change is inaction. If there should be no bill passed in Congress, there  may be higher costs. The problems will be compounded with limited access to services except by those with the very best level of coverage. Additionally,  more and more Americans are unable to afford healthcare. Currently health care costs are 16 percent of our Gross Domestic Product.

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