February 3, 2008

Universal Healthcare - A political promise without legs

This evening I was watching TV and almost every prime time commercial in California was a political ad positioning candidates for Super Tuesday. Hillary's commercial screamed " Everyone should be talking Universal Healthcare ".

We all agree that affordable Healthcare is important, however the government is not an entity with a proven track record of success in the fiscal or administrative systems for running another agency. Look at Social Security, Medicare, Medi-cal, Welfare, the IRS, Immigration or the local DMV. All of these government programs would be considered a financial mess, highly abused and dis-functional. Unfortunately the government is not an agency that can run a Universal Healthcare system, nor is a Universal system the answer.

Look at your local association health plans. Although they are marketed as a "Group Plan", they are often over-priced. This is due to the fact that unhealthy people flock to these plans to secure health insurance coverage. Healthy individuals join because they are under the impression that "Group is Cheaper". An association plan usually has very poor participation, with the healthy subsidizing the sick, or uninsureable. Once the rates exceed the cost of private health insurance plans on the open market - the healthy leave, the sick remain and the plan becomes unprofitable for the insurance carrier.This is called a polluted pool.

There are already systems in place for the poor that need to be improved. The focus should be to provide tax incentives for all Americans and Business owners that purchase private health insurance plans. The increase in plan participants will spread the risk, improve plan profitability and increase competition in the marketplace. If you belong to an Association Health insurance plan - take 5 minutes and compare your plan against the marketplace. Instantly compare all major insurance carriers providing coverage in your area.
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