The United States has been one of only two developed nations (South Africa is the other nation) without a form of universal health care resulting in 47 million people without access. Our hospital emergency rooms are overwhelmed with patients and costs continue to increase for those with insurance to help cover the expense. Those without insurance avoid going to the Doctor until it becomes an emergency. Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have very different views on solving this health care crisis.
The Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based health care research foundation, has analyzed both candidates’ health care plans. The report finds that Romney’s health care plan would increase the uninsured population to 72 million by 2022. By contrast, the report estimates the number of uninsured would drop from 47.9 million in 2011 to about 27.1 million people in 2022 if President Barack Obama’s health care law is fully implemented.
Looking at Medicare, the Romney proposal to repeal the federal health care law would render the Medicare trust fund insolvent in 2017. Under the Affordable Care Act, the trust fund is expected to last until 2024, according to the report. Repeal would also stop the ongoing changes to fill in the “doughnut hole” in prescription drug coverage and reinstate cost-sharing for preventive services and annual wellness visits.
Under the Romney-Ryan premium support model for Medicare, “beneficiaries would likely face higher out-of-pocket spending, if the level of premium support failed to keep pace with growth in health care costs.” The Affordable Care Act includes payment innovations like higher reimbursement for preventive care services and patient-centered primary care and pay-for-performance incentives for Medicare providers.
Jerry Lovrien has held positions of Chief Executive Officer at health and behavioral health facilities in Minnesota and Washington State. He served successfully as State Director/Commissioner of Health and Behavioral Health in Georgia, West Virginia and Minnesota. Jerry has taught high school through graduate courses and is currently an Instructor with Minnesota School of Business.