October 24, 2019 | Updates

Doctors: ‘One-Size-Fits-All Health Care Plan Is The Wrong Approach’

WASHINGTON – As the unaffordable costs and middle class tax hikes took center stage in last week’s presidential debate, two Texas doctors highlighted other substantial risks associated with new government-controlled health insurance systems, such as Medicare for All,Medicare buy-in and the public option.In an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle, Drs. Asim Shah and Nidal Moukaddam write that they “believe the answer is not to drastically overhaul our entire health care system but to build, in a true bi-partisan fashion, on the successes we have seen under the ACA through practical, achievable and incremental reforms focused on lowering costs and expanding access and coverage to more Americans.”  They write:

… Several options to achieve access to coverage already exist.  Expanding Medicaid guarantees coverage for under-represented and under-served populations.  Offering more generous federal subsidies would allow more people to purchase the level of coverage they need.  We should also prioritize consumer education around enrollment periods.  This component is a highly useful tool that has already helped thousands of previously uninsured Americans make an informed decision about their health care needs.

Whether it’s known as “Medicare for all,” single-payer, or the public option, what are the perils of dismantling the existing structures and moving directly to a government-run plan?  Under such a system, providers may see reimbursement rates drop drastically, which could ultimately undermine their ability to deliver high-quality services.Particularly for rural hospitals and health care centers, a public option – among the more “moderate” proposals by Democratic presidential candidates – would have dire consequences.

According to a recent analysis from Navigant Consulting and the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, 55 percent of rural hospitals – more than 1,000 locations across 46 states – would be affected by a move to a government-run system.  While the result of changes to their existing funding model are largely unknown, the impact of having reimbursements slashed could force many facilities to close or downgrade services and lay off much-needed staff just to stay open.  It would also reduce a patient’s access to affordable, convenient options, forcing them to travel further and pay more for a lower quality of care.

… In summary, we recognize that catch-all terms certainly work to energize the bases of political candidates, but they ignore the real issues facing our health care system, and do not offer a full solution.  Ultimately, we are all in this together, regardless of our political stripes, as this affects not just our health, but our future generation’s health as well.  That means in order to improve health care, we must all work together to strengthen the positive outcomes ACA has already brought.  This will help ensure that we have a health care system that works for every man, woman, and child in America.

To read the full op-ed, CLICK HERE.



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