Friday, February 27, 2009

OpEdNews » Why We Need Single Payer Health Care

Update on Minnesota's Single Payer Bill

Welcome to Workday Minnesota, your leading source for labor news!

"The Minnesota Health Act (HF135/SF118) would replace the existing, costly maze of private insurers and public programs with a “single payer” system to handle all administration. Everyone would be covered for all necessary care, including medical, mental health, dental, chemical dependency, medications and home health care. "

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Single Payer vs HCAN proposals

This dabate between the two major argurments for how to approach health payment system reform can help to clarify the differnces and similarities.
"In an attempt to encourage dialogue in advance of the legislative battles to come, In These Times invited representatives from two leading reform groups -- Steffie Woolhandler, co-director of Physicians for a National Health Program, and Richard Kirsch, the national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now -- to talk out their differences."

High Deductibles do not work

Health savings accounts (HSA) and the high-deductible health plans associated with them continue to garner interest for their purported potential to rein in health care spending. As the Obama administration and Congress discuss minimum benefit standards and insurance options during coming years, the role of HSAs is certain to be of continuing interest.
The authors note that: Full Report
HSA/HDHPs are a highly tax-advantaged savings vehicle appealing to people who have high incomes and to those who are expected to have low use of health care services. For the uninsured, these approaches are less attractive since they often have low income and neither benefit significantly from the tax advantages now have the financial assets necessary to cover the large deductibles associated with the plans.
Their ability to reduce system-wide spending is very limited.
The plans have the potential to increase segmentation of health care risk in private insurance markets unless employers set premiums to offset the healthier selection into the plans or government subsidizes the higher costs associated with the remaining non-HSA market.
The plans have thus far been less attractive that prononents envisioned, the authors add, so their potentially negative ramifications on populations with high medical needs have been limited. However, they say, "efforts to expand enrollment in these plans through further tax incentives, for example, could place growing financial burdens on those least able to absorb them, leading to more barriers to medical care for the low-income and the sick and fewer insurance options."