Thursday, October 15, 2009

Doctor's Rx for health reform: primary care for all

Rhode Island physician Michael Fine, who worked in rural Tennessee, boils down the recent events in health reform nicely in the Daily Yonder. On the Senate Finance Committee's big reduction in penalties for not buying health insurance, he writes:

"There was talk about giving some people incentives to help cushion the financial blow, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out any Senator or Congressperson who voted for such a scheme would probably never get elected to anything ever again. ... Now there is a $750 penalty (instead of $4,000) for families of four earning $160,000 a year who don’t buy health insurance. That is to say, the Senate Finance Committee made the mandate go away. But they left the new rules for health insurance companies in place. Insurance companies don’t get 50 million new customers, but they do have to think about paying the health care costs of people who are actually sick."

Fine says rural America needs health care, not expensive health insurance, and concludes, "The country needs a health care system, not just health insurance reform. We need to provide primary care to all Americans, because primary care costs next to nothing ($300-500 per person per year, compared to health insurance, which is $5,000 to $6,000 per person per year) and if we provide primary care to all Americans, we’ll have a system that is fair, a system that is affordable, and a system that is about health for everyone, not profit for corporations." (Read more)


hair salon london said...

They need the health care but not expensive.

life insurance Canada said...

Thank you for your article.
I dont have a chance to read Daily Wonder, so it is good to know....
SFC finally made a reasonable regulation, and so with preventing insurance companies not to get milions of new customers, but to force them to take care of actually ill people.