Health Care Reform – Three different themes

January 17, 2009

Three reports this week about the costs of health care and health care reform caught my attention.  One said that health care reform will be a sure fire economic stimulus because it will replace jobs lost from the current recession.   Another suggests that a modest upfront investment will produce $530 billion in savings.  The third moans that without a commitment to hard choices, we are doomed to health care spending profligacy.

John Nichols in The Nation describes a report and follow-on campaign by the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association (NNOC/CAN) that attempts to bolster the argument for a Single Payer health care system by describing its impact on jobs and the economy.

A report in Reuters describes a report by DeLoitte that argues that a $220 billion investment in e-prescribing and electronic medical records will produce $530 billion over ten years.

Lastly, Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post reports on findings of a report by the McKinsey Global Institute that provides valuable insights into why US health care costs so much more than it does elsewhere in the world.  Unfortunately,  it was short on constructive “shovel ready” policies. 

So how does one react to such disparate perspectives.   Read the rest of this entry »


Health Insurance for Small Business

November 22, 2008

Every health care reform proposal attempts to offer some relief for small businesses.  According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), small businesses create 2/3 of American jobs, yet half of the uninsured are in small businesses.

Look at President-elect Obama’s health care proposal on his campaign’s web site.  The first two items:  

  • Require health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of the health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.
  • Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees.

What’s remarkable about these proposals is that we are still discussing them. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask Jesse the Artist

October 25, 2008

Instead of focusing on Joe the Plumber and his tax phobia’s, perhaps the presidential candidates should talk to Jesse the Artist and ask him or her about health insurance.  On Sunday, October 19th, I visited the Bethesda Row Arts Festival in Bethesda, Maryland.  I did just that.  In a very unscientific survey, I talked to a number of the artists about their health insurance.  

Why should anyone else be interested in artists?  Because they are small business people.  They are also very creative.  It is this creative entrepreneurship of small businesses that candidates like to support because it is the economic engine  that drives the American economy. Read the rest of this entry »