Thursday, August 9, 2007

Healthcare and the US Presidential Elections

With the next US Presidential elections coming up, both parties are out to communicate their stand on the issues. While the war in Iraq is obviously the number one issue, I think that the Healthcare issue is really close to every American's heart.

I know of no middle class family in America that is not concerned about healthcare irrespective of the fact if they have insurance or not. With 45 million Americans without healthcare (including 9 million children) this is an issue that MUST be fixed. But unfortunately, there are no easy fixes.

Think about it.....the Democrats want to provide Universal Health Care......check out for Hillary's views. Now, the concept of Universal Healthcare sounds noble and all but is it practical and actionable? Definitely, healthcare is going to cost $$$$ Does this mean increased taxes and therefore risking a further slowdown in the economy?? Will not even a hint of increased taxes lead to flight of capital from the US???

On the other hand, Republicans mostly want to leave healthcare to market forces. The "market" has failed to deliver for the 45 million Americans who lack insurance.

Look, what I am suggesting is that can we not think out of the box here and pass laws that enable insurance companies to develop unique products that offer a kind of hybrid solution to individuals at a low price.

Basically, it would have a primary healthcare component so you could see your PCP in the US if you got the flu or there was an emergency situation. But if there was a non emergency situation like a hip replacement or a skin graft or a planned angioplasty then you would have to travel to an approved and accredited world class facility in India or overseas to get the treatment.

The insurance company would develop a package that would pay for the travel and the procedure (while still enabling you to get a low premium policy and enabling the insurance company to keep costs low).

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