Originally Posted by 11Series
Why would people with perfectly good private insurance provided through their company (and paid in part by their employers) go out of their way to drop their insurance, and pay more (100% of their own premiums) into a gov't plan?
Do you think companies will be able to attract top talent if they stop offering competetive benefits packages, and tell people to take gov't insurance?
Do you think companies will give up their big tax deductions they get to take for offering health insurance plans to their employees?
If private insurance companies can't compete, even with these massive systemic advantages already provided to them, then perhaps private insurance isn't as good as it's been portrayed by health insurance lobbyists.
I think there is a massive problem with people confusing the US health CARE providers (docters, nurses, hospitals, etc) with US health INSURANCE companies. The two are not the same thing at all. The public option would use all the same doctors and nurses and hospitals, it is just the payment system that would change.
To be honest, I'd love to see our entire health INSURANCE system (who have never diagnosed a single patient, or provided a single ounce of health care directly to anyone) be replaced by a German-style private non-profit insurance system. We can have the world's best health CARE results without our current lousy health INSURANCE companies dragging us down like an anchor.
1.) Private companies are ALREADY dropping health insurance coverage. You would have to mandate that private corporations be required to provide all employees with healthcare. In which case, they would likely choose the government insurance program, which is cheaper.
2.) Private insurance companies can't compete because they don't have the same leverage as the United States government. Think of it this way: who has more leverage, an insurer with 5 million subcribers, or the government insurance system with 60, 80, or 100 million subscribers? Government insurance programs have more leverage over hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical corporations, and thus are able to negotiate better rates and deals. Eventually, this would drive private insurers out of the market.
I am no lover of our current hodge-podge HMO/private insurance market, but a single payer system is even worse. When you have a single payer, all competition is eliminated; the government has the leverage to set prices, and you end up with an inherently inefficient system with overcrowding and misallocation of resources. Many western countries are realizing this; look at the physician shortages, unavailability of care, and expenses of the National Health Service (UK) as an example.
I also like the idea of non-profit insurance schemes. As long as they are 100% private, and there are enough to foster competition, AND each insurance scheme provides access to as many physicians as possible, I am fine with this. Germany's system, if implemented correctly, could be successful here.
But I wish someone would just grasp and run with the health savings accounts scheme. It's such a brilliant solution that plays to both liberals and conservatives: universal coverage and a largely private system.
"Singapore has a universal healthcare system where government ensures affordability, largely through compulsory savings ...while the private sector provides most care. Overall spending on healthcare amounts to only 3% of annual GDP. Of that, 66% comes from private sources. Singapore currently has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world (equaled only by Iceland) and among the highest life expectancies from birth, according to the World Health Organization. Singapore has "one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the results achieved in community health outcomes," according to an analysis by global consulting firm Watson Wyatt. Singapore's system uses a combination of compulsory savings from payroll deductions (funded by both employers and workers) a nationalized catastrophic health insurance plan, and government subsidies, as well as "actively regulating the supply and prices of healthcare services in the country" to keep costs in check; the specific features have been described as potentially a "very difficult system to replicate in many other countries." Many Singaporeans also have supplemental private health insurance
(often provided by employers) for services not covered by the government's programs."
Bolded are the concerns with such a system, however.