Dr. David Goering, medical director for Health Care Access
Goering said the primary problem is the cost of health care and insurance premiums.
“With our fragmented system of payment, there is no way to control costs,” he said. “As charges for physician services, hospital care, pharmaceuticals and supplies increase at rates much faster than inflation and wage increases, the costs are passed on to consumers as higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Medicare is working on revising its payment system to reimburse for quality, not just quantity of services. This could serve as a model for private insurance companies in the future.”
Goering said President Barack Obama should continue to insist on a public plan option despite resistance from private insurance industry lobbyists.
“A public plan option should provide some competition for an industry that has merged into a handful of huge national companies with bloated CEO salaries and administrative expenses. Even with this option, it is unlikely that all of the uninsured millions will be covered,” he said.
Goering’s fear is that the problem of the uninsured will not be solved.
“It is often said that young, healthy people don’t purchase insurance because they gamble they won’t get sick or injured. On the other hand, the costs of premiums alone can consume 20 to 25 percent of a family’s income. No wonder people roll the dice, and live in fear of getting sick, and ignore their health problems until they have advanced illnesses.”
Kansans weigh in on health care reform
- Have your say.
- Graham Bailey, vice president of public relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
- Rod Bremby, Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Corrie Edwards, executive director, Kansas Health Consumer Coalition
- Jerry Kemberling, Unemployed, Lawrence
- Gene Meyer, CEO/president, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
- Marcia Nielsen, vice chancellor for public policy and planning, Kansas University Medical Center
- Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner
- Jon Stewart, Director, LEO Center
- Judy Bellome, executive director of Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care
- Dr. Alan Cowles, Social Security disability benefits advocate
- Marcia Epstein, director of Headquarters Counseling Center in Lawrence
- Dr. David Goering, medical director for Health Care Access
- Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care
- Dan Partridge, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department director
- Margie Wakefield, small business owner