Healthcare: Congress Too Ashamed To Do Biz Before Americans & God?

By Cathy Wilson Posted in Health Insurance News

Depending upon whose opinion one chooses to accept, cost of healthcare nationally and internationally has been a concern for more than two decades. There are three basic elements to this issue:
1. Health care coverage
2. Health care costs
3. Health care providers

In countries where universal health care is a government program, there is debate about its effectiveness in terms of quality vs. demand. In the USA, healthcare is distributed in several ways:
1. Through full or part-time employment where healthcare insurance is provided by the employer
2. Through Medicare, a government program offered to retirees of eligible Social Security retirement age
3. Through Civil Service government programs for municipal, county, state and federal employment
4. Private insurance paid entirely out of pocket by the insured

Costs of Health Care

Originally, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) were offered to employees in the early 1970′s as a choice between traditional employer-sponsored health insurance and HMO networks of physicians, diagnosticians and hospitals. By the mid 1980′s, employers realized the cost-effectiveness of HMOs and gradually phased out traditional insurance, leaving less choice for employees.

Later, Medicare also adopted HMO health care insurance, placing greater burden of responsibility on HMOs than ever before and increasing the number of people in HMO networks. This resulted in higher premiums, causing HMO health care insurance rates to increase.

HMO administrative costs also increased in a ripple effect as the debate began. With greater numbers of people to insure, HMOs were less cost-effective to health care insurance providers as well as to the insured. When the insured began to absorb higher costs for their health care in exorbitant copays, the ripple effect of this was loss of income. Decline in income and consumerism led to serious economic problems. Employers dropped costly HMO plans increasing the uninsured to which Congress is now responding.

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