Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
President Obama cannot understand why the American people are frightened about his healthcare reform act. The reasons are obvious.
The new healthcare reform law is increasing government bureaucracy and increasing regulations. Americans believe this is shorthand for increasing cost of care, decreasing access to care, rationing care, and increasing deficits.
President Obama has not demonstrated respect for Americans’ fear or wisdom.
President Obama’s healthcare reform act is on a collision course toward complete government control of the healthcare system. America’s destiny is a single party payer system. Why would President Obama want America to have single party payer system? The single party payer systems are failing in Canada and England. Those two countries are in the process of switching to a decentralized healthcare system.
Disintermediation of the healthcare system could solve many of the problems in our healthcare system. Presently, the healthcare insurance industry controls private insurance as well as public insurance by its administrative service fees. The federal government outsources its administrative services to the healthcare insurance industry.
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are going to finance this debacle by increasing taxes.
Two of the most successful innovative entrepreneurs of our time, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com and Michael Dell of Dell Computing have invested in Qliance Medical Management.
“According to Qliance, 40 cents of every dollar spent on health care goes toward dealing with insurance companies and paying for overhead.”
I have calculated the administrative services cost to be closer to sixty cents of every dollar spent.
“Qliance plans bet is that by getting rid of insurance companies and associated administrative fat, such as elaborate customer billing and reporting, they can deliver cheap, quality health care.”
Qliance is like a health club membership for healthcare. Membership includes unrestricted access to a Qliance clinician and clinic services for one monthly fee.
“Instead of dealing with costly overhead, we reinvest that 40¢ in our clinics, electronic medical records and in patient services. You experience shorter wait times, longer appointments and lower costs.”
Jeff Bezos and Michael Dell are on the right track but the plan has several defects.
“ Qliance customers pay a flat monthly fee of $44 to $84 dollars – depending on age and level of care you choose – to become a member. For this, they get health care in clinics that are open seven days a week, covering 90% of the problems that we see doctors for, such as “check-ups…minor fractures…as well as ongoing care for chronic illnesses.”
Qliance customers must purchase catastrophic coverage for all other illnesses not covered. Qliance Medical Management is an attempt to deliver real market-based solutions for health care. This model is one of the first attempts to disintermediate the healthcare insurance industry.
Qliance is not the answer. It has too many defects. The most significant defect in the model is it depends on the population that joins, and the use or overuse of the system. Most importantly, the model is lacking patients’ incentives to remain healthy and live a healthy life style. If patients have a chronic disease, the model does not include motivation for patients to self-manage their disease.
Today, medical payments of insured patients are paid by the government or the healthcare insurance companies. The healthcare insurance companies also provide the administrative services for the government. There is a 40 to 60 cent burden on every healthcare dollar. This is the largest source of waste.
As government controls and regulations displace consumer power and choice, our health care costs and expenditures increase, not decreased. The Massachusetts healthcare reform experiment has proved this point.
“When you buy a car, a computer, purchase a cell phone plan, you shop. Vendors compete for customers by finding innovative ways to make and distribute their products so they can deliver higher quality and lower costs than the competition.”
Our highly regulated health care reform act has none of these characteristics.
President Obama believes more government regulations rather than innovation and freedom of choice is the answer. He is wrong.
Mike Tanner of the Cato Institute in his paper entitled “Bad Medicine.” points out that President Obama’s healthcare reform law will fail in all three goals. He estimates that the bill will cost three times the estimate and fail to provide healthcare insurance for all Americans, reduce insurance costs for, businesses, and government, and increase the quality of health care and the value for each dollar of health care spending.”
“The Reid Pelosi Obama plan that we’re now stuck with builds on what has already failed. More government, more spending, and less freedom. Unleashing entrepreneurs like Bezos and Dell is what we need to address health care.”
Qliance is a first step in the march to consumer driven healthcare. It must be combined with an ideal medical savings account to disintermediate the healthcare insurance industry.