Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 15, 2013

Do we have the will?

I received an article today with a suggestion for my column.

The article was written by Reed Abelson about a new path being taken by a large company — General Electric — and others in rethinking health care for their folks. The article addresses how the new federal health care law that we hear and read so much about is forcing them into redesigning their coverage policy, and in some cases even consider discontinuing employer provided coverage altogether.

One comment, “They are motivated by a need to rein in health care costs, which continue to rise faster than inflation, but also changing how some of them view their obligation to their employees”.

Does this not make you shudder? What is wrong with our political leaders that they cannot see past their need for campaign funding and realize that we cannot survive with per capita cost that basically doubles the cost of every developed nation in the world? We are going to create a whole new industry of so called “health exchanges” with benefit consultants, lobbyist and government and state outsourced groups profiting from the disaster. Another example is of a major firm giving those who qualify money to buy insurance on a private health exchange.

The article really hones in on one giant company that spends more than $ 2 billion a year offering coverage to 500,000 employees and retirees and their families that is seeking a new path to work directly with doctors and hospitals to improve care and reduce cost. Has anyone in our state, county, city read or heard of any plans to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care? They report that in one city about 118 doctors practices have converted to medical homes and all five of the major health systems are making their primary care practices move in that direction. They describe “medical homes in the article as “individual medical practices closely coordinates patient care by having access to all of the patient’s medical records”.

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