This is an interesting opinion article and I tend to agree with some of this especially with the $88 million being forked out with tax payer money to make this work? Yes it is a gamble even in the words of the folks from Tufts. A good point is made here as to why taxpayers are footing this bill. With technology insurance carriers have been eating the US government’s lunch for a long time and that’s no big secret for sure. It does not begin until 2014 and so far 17 doctors and facilities have opted in.
Basically this is what is occurring due to the lack of a “public option” being included in the reform which the GOP and insurers fought tooth and nails. Again the big challenge here is getting enough doctors and facilities to join in and I guess that will all shake out as time moves forward. Specialists may be more likely to join than primary care doctors as most of them can’t reduce their payments much more in most parts of the US. Let’s keep in mind too that part of the $88 million will go for the IT or HIT infrastructure to run this as nothing works without one of those these days.
Basically the sides are drawing further apart with cost and it’s really almost time for the President to do a “Roosevelt” and take over the insurance business, get them off the stock market and turn each one into a big HMO. Subsidiaries would be a divesture issue. That way they all keep the IT infrastructure and can operate back like a non profit again.
Other non profits such as Kaiser Permanente operate very well and are gaining in the areas of patient satisfaction, there’s no shareholders to report to and they do make money but have obligations to re-invest as a non profit. Maybe this $80 million would have been better spent with an effort as such? Tax those data sellers and let’s get some revenue back into the government and healthcare instead of this nonsense. I think of that every time I have to pay an excise tax on a tire I need for my car so time for big business to chip in and pay excise quarter taxes and licenses for selling tax payer data and lets get some jobs back that create tangibles. More on that topic at the links below. BD
Cook Medical Cancels Plans for Factory Expansions–We Need Companies That Create Tangible Products As They Create Jobs–Tax The Data Sellers/Brokers Who Make Billions With Data Mining “Killer Algorithms” And Give the Device Companies a Break
“Devaluate the Algorithm” And “Tax the Data Sellers”–A Cure for Both Healthcare and an Economy Based Heavily on Intangibles–We’ve Lost Our Balance
If you thought “Big Brother” was just a figure head, think again. Tufts Medical Center received $88.5 million from the Federal Government to “try” an innovative idea that might just become the standard in the healthcare industry, should it work: Consumer controlled health insurance. This "model" will likely become the new standard for coverage. Doesn't sound so bad, does it? Empower the people to control their own health care and you have a win-win situation, right?
Wrong. Here's why: First, it must be funded by tax dollars (as if we're not already taxed enough). In the case of Tufts Medical Center's pilot program, we're the banker through government low interest loans. Why are we paying for it when the insurance industry is overwhelming wealthy? The Obama Administration knew that unless they “pony-up” some big support the health insurance companies wouldn’t be able to keep their end of the bargain to insure everyone. Thus they were promised practically free money in exchange for their compliance.
“We don’t have anything on the market like this” in Massachusetts, said John McDonough, a Harvard health policy professor who had a hand in drafting the federal law. Depending on how it is implemented and received by consumers in the state, McDonough said, the program could become “a belly flop” or “a disruptive innovation worth watching.”
The premise of the program rests on one theory: Doctors and hospitals must be willing to work for less compensation. In this case, less does not equal more. Healthcare providers, who are in business to make money, would never willing take less compensation in exchange for providing more accessible health care services. The math doesn’t add up and the outcome isn’t realistic.
In a nutshell, here’s what the government did to help fund the Tufts Medical Center health insurance plan:
* Awarded $88.5 million loan to create that state’s only member-owned health insurance plan, offering coverage in Eastern and Central Massachusetts, start January 2014
*The pilot program is focused on lowering premiums through barely complying with the Federal Government requirements
*Insurance products are directly sold to individuals and small businesses through insurance brokers and the Massachusetts Health Connector