Years ago I wrote an article about our Rates, Regulations and Body Parts approach to health care. This approach has caused thousands of legislative bills and laws for specific coverage and rates. A few examples include:
- Mental health
- Children’s health
- Medicaid and Medicare coverage
- Medicare and Medicaid physician rates
- State and federal insurance rates and regulations
- Private insurance policies and rates
- Veterans’ health
- Disability coverage
- Insurance networks
- Addiction coverage
- Women’s health and maternity care
- End Stage Renal Disease
- Large employers such as Microsoft or General Motors, are exempt from state insurance regulations and state insurance taxes.
And consider this:
- 1 in 3 Americans have government health care, such as Medicare, Medicaid, VA,
- Another 7% for public employees at the city, county and state levels (funded by state and local taxes)
- Active duty military personnel
- Health insurance for Senate and House and their employees in Washington DC and state levels
What This Means:
- Over 60% of all health care costs are already funded by taxes at the national, state and local levels
- US health costs, just for tax supported programs, are higher per person than any other country’s per person health costs
This excludes the millions and probably billions of dollars spent over decades fighting for or against specific legislation.
To see the long and ugly history of health care reform see: http://oconnorreport.com/2016/06/the-inability-to-compromise-a-brief-health-reform-outline-1752-2015/
It would be cheaper and better to have a program like Medicare for All that could be fair and accountable without thousands of rules and regulations and tax dollars spent on thousands of often conflicting regulations at federal, state and local levels.
At the heart of all this is a question of conscience and the test of a moral society that does not punish those who are poor, disabled or old.
© Kathleen O’Connor, July 25th, 2017
Sources for some data is from: Government funds nearly two-thirds of U.S. health care costs: American Journal of Public Health study:
“Direct government payments for such programs as Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration accounted for 47.8 percent of overall health spending. The analysis also identified two commonly overlooked tax-funded health expenditures – government outlays for public employees’ private health insurance coverage ($188 billion, or 6.4 percent of total spending) and tax subsidies to health care ($294.9 billion, or 10.1 percent of the total). Together, these public expenditures put the U.S. in first place for health care taxes.”