I am troubled by the basic premise of the present health care reform, namely providing "affordable health insurance." As a small business, we have provided health insurance for any employee who wants it for many years. It is my experience and opinion that the high cost of health care, and I'd like to emphasize the term "health care," is the result of a few things. 1) People who cannot afford health care services often get treatment from emergency rooms where service must be provided but at a high cost. 2) We tend to demand a magic pill for many of our ailments instead of taking some personal responsibility. 3) We support a co-pay system over scrutinizing our own medical bills and then working with our insurance company, demanding more administrative cost for the doctor's office and the insurance company.
The net result is that we are really paying for collusion between insurance companies and doctors. Ask doctors for a detailed bill and they'll tell you they can't do that. "It's in the insurance codes." We are paying the doctor and the insurance company, but neither can give us a real cost-based price. They've negotiated what they think they can charge and we're stuck with it.
So what's troubling me is that we're not aiming health care reform at improving affordable health "care." We're aiming it at "affordable health insurance." Looking at current practices from a business perspective, I understand some of the high cost. For example, if people can't afford care and go to the emergency room, that is a cost that ends up being shared by all through the hospital's increasing rates to cover their costs. Now, if we're mandating affordable health insurance for everyone, it stands to reason that the hospital should be able to lower their costs because the insurance should guarantee that they will receive payment from each person using their services. However, I don't think that's going to happen. "Affordable health insurance" from where I sit, means we're going to be getting less for more.