The recently witnessed health reform debate on the legislative floor has made it clear that our country requires a high quality and affordable public health insurance policy to cater effectively for our ever growing population’s health needs. The lawmakers have proposed several ways in which the new insurance scheme is to be implemented including; reviewing the existing public insurance schemes and having all employers offer health insurance or make contributions for their employees.
The house is still in the process of finalizing the proposal so that the president may pen his signature for the bill to be declared a law. The role of the government in implementing this public plan is mainly collecting the taxpayers’ funds and channeling them to the care providers both private and public including regulating the practices of the licensed facilities.
The government has all the facts pointing out that this new legislation has far better than harm as far as the benefits are concerned. Here are the advantages of the proposed legislation;
The enrollment opportunity for the insurance plan is prioritized for employers and individuals who are eligible to purchase the plan via the existing national health insurance body. Some employers and families or individuals who buy the coverage through the National Health Insurance body will get the benefit of subsidies like the” affordability credits”. Which under the proposed law is based on poverty level, insurance cost, and the level of income?
Small business with as less as 20 employees is now allowed to cover their workers through the public plan and to some extent qualify for subsidies, something that did not happen at all under the current insurance plans.
The proposed public plan will directly negotiate its payment rates with providers just like the private insurers. However, the rates will be below the average of the rate given by the private players.
The new plan will still have to be in line with all the laws and regulations that apply to the private insurance plans except that, it will still be subject to any new legislation set forth in the health insurance reforms. Unlike the popular trading of shares by the private insurers, the public plan will not participate in thestock exchange and, therefore, it will not have to pay dividends to shareholders. Money that can otherwise be reinvested in healthcare.
The government intends to use this public plan platform for other overall objectives like reducing disparities in healthcare on top of improving health outcomes.Providing affordable and efficient care as well as the prevention and management of chronic conditions all of which are geared towards improving the value of care for the money invested.
Kindly don’t listen to groups opposing the House bill because most of them are large private insurance firms, business groups, and some opposition leaders. We have heard their arguments and criticisms, some of which are only affecting our public plan in the short run.
The government is aware of the implications that the public plan has on the health spending; this is especially concerned with the amounts spent on subsidies and the overall administrative costs since it is a new plan. The employers will also have to part with mandatory premiums covering the employees. The argument by the opponents may be valid, but it will be for a short period before the operation of the plan normalizes.
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