Gene Meyer, CEO/president, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
“I think the biggest problem is the uninsured and how do we care for the uninsured and make sure that they have access to care without penalizing the rest of the system.”
Meyer said another problem is that under current health insurance programs, insured people pay only a minor portion of health care costs.
He said the current system doesn’t support personal accountability.
“So, you have the uninsured, the people who are sheltered from the true costs of health insurance and you’ve got the lack of support for personal accountability — all of these combined creates some monumental system issues that this country is facing,” he said.
Meyer’s biggest concern is that reform will happen too quickly and will bring massive, unintended consequences.
He believes that some form of a public insurance plan likely will be approved. When that happens, he said the shortage of health care providers will be exacerbated.
“I mean today, the uninsured receive — and I am not saying that this is right — but I am saying today that the uninsured receive half the amount of health care that the insured receive. If suddenly that uninsured population receives health insurance and they then utilize that health insurance to the same extent that the current insured population does, our system will go on overload,” he said. “There has not been enough dialogue through Washington about expanding manpower issues.”
“If we don’t deal with that first and we overload the system, the system and the people who are currently very pleased with health care are going to be very, very concerned in the future.”
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