September 13, 2009

THE HARD PART FOR THE GOP TO SWALLOW...:

The Best Health Care Plan You've Never Heard Of (John Graham, 9/13/09, Real Clear Politics)

Typically, CDHC arrangements couple high-deductible insurance plans for catastrophic care with either health savings accounts or employer-funded health reimbursement accounts.

Holders of health savings accounts can deposit money tax-free into their accounts and use the proceeds for whatever medical expenses they choose, from routine care to elective procedures like laser-eye surgery. Best of all, patients own the funds in their accounts forever. A deposit made today can be spent 50 years from now, when a person's medical expenses are likely to be higher.

When patients have a direct financial stake in the cost of their care, they're more likely to search for the best deal. The prices of medical services can vary widely and are usually unrelated to the amounts providers actually get paid, so asking informed questions can dramatically reduce health costs. Although still uncomfortable with transparency, hospitals and doctors' offices are finding it increasingly necessary to speak with patients about prices and payment.

Encouraging patients to consider the cost of procedures yields huge savings.

Research from the American Academy of Actuaries confirms that CDHC plans are driving health costs down without sacrificing quality of care. The typical plan results in first-year cost-savings of up to 15 percent. Meanwhile, traditional insurance plans have been increasing in cost each year. So a patient who switches from a conventional plan to a CDHC plan could save as much as 20 percent.

Further, CDHC plans deliver savings in subsequent years -- between 3 and 5 percent in each year after the first.


...would be funding them for the poor, to achieve universality. But that would be the UR's big victory. Thus, the perfect basis for compromise.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 13, 2009 7:23 PM
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