This is important to watch because, by his own admission, Governor Rendell says he has modeled his healthcare plan on that passed recently in Massachusetts. The problem is that the plan there is failing. The central failure of these plans is that they force everyone to buy health insurance from that industry. It's really a massive state welfare plan for an industry which has failed miserably and is the single biggest source of waste of healthcare dollars.
Until we rid the system of health insurers no plan can be successful. This is an integral part of any successful equation to bring true universal, comprehensive health care to everyone. In Massachusetts they said they'd make the premiums affordable to everyone. They wound up defining "affordable" as between 5 and 10% of income.
In Massachusetts they've discovered that to implement the plan it must have a $5,000 deductible, cost upwards of $380/month, and not have full catastrophic coverage. They would pay the premiums for anyone making up to 150% of the poverty level but explain to me how someone earning $15,315/year can afford a $5,000 deductible? That's the same as having no health insurance at all. If you cannot afford to use it it's of no use. Here's the crux of the problem:
"On Thursday, state officials decided to exempt 20 percent of the state's uninsured population of 328,000 adults from paying penalties if they don't purchase health insurance after it realized they were too poor to afford any coverage."
Forcing people to buy inadequate coverage from the insurance industry isn't working in Massachusetts and they haven't even implemented their plan yet. They can't because they can't figure out how to make it work. The obstacle is that 20-25% overhead consued by the multi-payer system of private companies.
You can blow smoke all you want about eliminating hospital acquired infections, overuse of emergency rooms, the need for more clinics, etc. but until you have the cojones to eliminate this huge waste factor nothing will work. Everything else is simply cosmetic surgery on a gaping wound. A single payer system is the only solution. To find out more about it visit here. While you're there see if you can kick in a few dollars to help fund the effort.
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