While the election of Barack Obama tells us a general direction for the
Looking only at our little world – health care is front and center, connected directly to the distress in our economy. The first order of business will certainly be economic issues, from the credit crisis to mortgages. Some elements of the McCain proposal may be show up in legislation over the coming few years, including the ability to buy health insurance across state lines. However, the hang up will be regulation, which the states will want to hang on to (and probably a good thing for patients and physicians).
In the end, there are aspects of the market can help the health insurance cost challenge. The difference is that tax incentives and market based proposals are only part of the ultimate problem. You see, only part of the problem is the cost of health insurance. The rest of the problem lies in the 45-47 million who have no insurance and inequity when non-insured companies compete against companies who offer health insurance or carry an older workforce. We will move towards some variation of mandatory coverage – I suspect more along lines of auto insurance: there is a minimum requirement, people can buy more coverage and there are choices of insurance companies and plans.
Campaign promises tell us about the values and priorities of the candidate. It is not a laundry list of actions that will be implemented. In the real world of democracy, policy and legislation have to pass through differing judgment and opinions to create the final product.
Stay in touch with your local medical society and become engaged in working for issues important to physicians and for all healthcare. The same applies to MGMA, which also has an excellent legislative group. We cannot let these issues lie, physicians have made some in-roads, and it is up to the profession to be at the table and make a difference in policy and legislation for physician practices and for the health of patients.