Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Of course the CEO of Aetna would want mandatory healthcare coverage with the
government providing a subsidy to consumers to buy healthcare insurance. The
more lives insured the more profit his healthcare insurance company would
“Americans should be required to buy health
insurance, bringing healthier people into plans that will help
bring down costs, the chairman of one of the nation's largest private insurance
companies told a Detroit audience Tuesday.”
This is obviously self serving. Massachusetts
bought into this concept only to see the premiums and state subsidies go up.
As long as the healthcare insurance industry’s administrative costs are opaque
and not transparent the healthcare premium costs will not go down.
A mandatory system misses the point of the dysfunction in the healthcare
system. The healthcare insurance industry would become more powerful. The
healthcare insurance industry’s increased control over the healthcare system
would add to the dysfunction.
incentives of all stakeholders must be aligned and consumers must be in control
of their healthcare dollar and not the healthcare insurance industry. The
insurance company should be in control of the dollars spent after $6000
“A mandatory system would help bring down costs and end a problem known
in the industry as cherry-picking — enrolling healthy applicants and rejecting
those with prior medical problems — because costs and risks would be spread
over a larger group of people, Williams said.”
cherry pickers are the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry is
required to insure people in an employer group. However, if sick people are in
the group the group premium is increased. Cherry picking occurs when an
individual tries to buy insurance. If the consumer is 55 years old and recently
unemployed he is unable to get insurance if he has hypertension and diabetes. If
he could get insurance the premium would be high and he would be paying with
after tax dollars. The healthcare insurance industry would love every healthy 20
year old to be insured.
Mr. Williams has produced a smoke screen to give states the idea that they
should make health insurance mandatory. He has no interest in repairing the
system because that would decrease Aetna’s profit.
Williams is also in favor of:
“• Selling health insurance across state lines, a proposal favored by
Republican presidential candidate John McCain.”
The healthcare insurance industry has lobbied John McCain to take this
position. This form of deregulation would have adverse effects on the healthcare
Boards of Insurance can eliminate insurance abuse by refusing to grant a health
insurance carrier a permit to sell insurance in its state because of abuse.
So far state boards of insurance have not imposed this penalty. Healthcare
insurance company abuse has only been punished by weak and insignificant
monetary fines. John McCain would eliminate this potential protection for
“• Expanding access of those now eligible for Medicare and Medicaid
John McCain would also like to eliminate the Medicare entitlement.
He would like to move all Medicare patients to private sector run Medicare
Advantage program. The Bush Administration has increased the subsidy to the
healthcare industry for Medicare Advantage $3,600 per patients. The
healthcare insurance industry has increased profit last year by over 5 billion
dollars from the Medicare Advantage program with only 20% of the potential
patients being enrolled. .
"No candidate has the right answer," Williams said.
Neither candidate's program suits Mr. Williams’ goal of increasing his
McCain essentially has no program. Mr. Williams and Aetna would have to
continue to build up it power slowly.
Obama has a program that will fail because it is outsourced to the
healthcare industry. In my next post I will explain how he can convert his
healthcare plan to a healthcare plan that will succeed.