We hear from lots of clients that ‘they can’t wait for a national healthcare system’. Those that have experienced federal healthcare aren’t so sure. A great example of a Federal healthcare experiment is Medicare Part D, the new drug coverage offered in 2006 for the first time. This simple concept: to help seniors pay for their drug costs is so complex that it has kept even millions of low income people from even enrolling. One can argue that leaving it in the hands of private insurers to administer and compete in the marketplace makes a decent argument for wiping private insurers off the landscape, but complete nationalization of all insurance is not anyone’s politicians radar. Since healthcare is one of the leading employers in the country, it’s highly unlikely that it could even be accomplished.
Most of us believe that in a Universal healthcare system would cost us less money than it does now. Statistically, this looks to be inaccurate. Using the old 80/20 rule, 80% of the expenses in the country are expensed by 20% of the people. In a true Universal plan, we would all share the expenses equally. Thus, 80% of the people would spend more for our healthcare in total; it would just be collected differently. The most likely scenario is a mandate to the 45 million uninsured that they must be insured. It does seem likely that a combination of employer mandate and personal tax credit might pass. While no answer seems to be a great answer, the cost of forcing the uninsured into a managed healthcare system subsidized by taxation of the rest of us, would most likely lower the cost of coverage for those that do have insurance by more than the cost of taxation. Look for expansion of Health Savings Accounts in any legislation giving each of us some personal control of our own healthcare costs and choices.