By Philip Nagel for Will County Gazette
As medical and pharmaceutical costs rain havoc on our seniors and middle class, our elected leaders receive free medical for life.
The seniors of Illinois are forced back into the workplace if only to afford that life saving medical treatment or prescription drug. This is true for not only seniors, but all Illinois residents.
This is our current Health care system, but rather than pick apart the glaring problems with the current system, I would like to spend this time addressing simple solutions that will drive down costs and improve treatment for everyone in Illinois.
Let’s start by simply saying that our current health care program in its entirety is unsustainable.
If we choose not to act now, we are heading for a single-payer state-run medical system. While this has the potential of lowering costs, it will have catastrophic consequences on quality of treatment and availability.
So how do we fix this system and make it work for everyone. First, we must have price transparency. Second, we must have interstate competition for medical insurance. Finally, we must break the employer/employee medical relationship.
But let’s start with price transparency. The most important step we can and should take is to mandate transparent pricing and eliminate variable price based on who is paying. Refusing to publish a menu of prices and differential pricing based on method of payment is already illegal as it violates antitrust laws. However, the medical industry is exempt from these antitrust laws.
Next, we must turn our focus to interstate competition if we are truly serious about driving down costs. We must remove the red lines and open the medical industry to real competition where they are forced to compete for our business. We do this by putting together a federal minimum standard insurance product covering emergency care only. This would allow insurance carriers to offer any plan that meets that minimum across state lines, making the risk pools bigger and increasing participation. Remember Choice equals competition.
Finally, we will end by removing the employer/employee medical relationship. This relationship dramatically reduces the size of the available risk pools in the private market while also increasing the costs of employment but not wages, essentially making us, less competitive as a nation.
By doing this, the employee would have greater control over their medical benefits while making the employers cost of carriage for employee’s more predictable and much simpler, because now it’s just money instead of money plus benefits. This would allow the employee to shop around in a competitive market for medical insurance.
These simple measures would force the health care industry to compete for our business though lowering medical and drug prices while improving the quality of treatment.
Please join me on my quest to fix Illinois health care system at www.nagelforsenate.com.
Article Link: https://willcountygazette.com/stories/622470994-op-ed-how-to-fix-illinois-crumbling-health-care-system