President Obama has raised healthcare to a top priority for the administration, and sooner rather than later. The key players are on board that now is the time, and that change must be significant. Cost is probably the top issue, along with access.
We will not see a national health service or other socialized medicine scenario. This was never a serious proposition here. I suspect that we will see a model along the lines of how Medicare and the supplemental are handled: coverage will be madatory, and you will have a voucher to buy a base line policy. Think of it as the minimum insurance requirements on your car. Employers will be able to pay to add to this, or you can on your own. Providers will bill through a similar set of intermediaries, as they do now.
The good news? There is pent up demand for services. It will be simpler for consumers to navigate. The bad news? Primary care physicians will see some more money, but specialists will see drops in income. Chronic conditions consume, what – half of all costs? Do we need more MRIs, or primrary care physicians and technically trained care managers to assist and monitor these patients?
You can read President Obama’s remarks to the Summit here.
Here’s a report from a recent Wharton Business School conference discussing health care.