Federal lawmakers need to focus on what’s driving health care costs in America that in turn contributes to the rising cost of health coverage. That’s according to a group of health care industry executives who gathered for a recent roundtable conversation organized by MiBiz. They also said that health care needs more cost transparency and consumerism.
Participating in the roundtable was Cynthia Moore, Member and Practice Department Manager: Domestic Relations, Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, Gaming and Immigration, Troy, Dickinson Wright PLLC. The following are highlights of the discussion featuring Cyndi Moore's responses.
What are employers to make of what Congress is doing right now on health care?
The way I look at the bills is they’re just kind of tinkering on the fringes of what the problem is, which is the cost of care and the cost of claims. There was some truth, some legitimacy, to the Democrat argument. This really is a giant tax cut funded by huge cuts to Medicaid over the long term, which is very concerning and it doesn’t address access and affordability. A lot of that, I think, is driven by the fact that this is being enacted through the reconciliation process, so they can’t really look at this on a global basis, which is really what they should be doing.
In the discussion of health and health care, does America need a little bit of tough love?
"As long as it’s coupled with the ability to make an informed health care decision. If we have those transparency tools so people can make an informed decision — and it would be great if those could be coupled with some measure of quality of care — if we could see both the cost and the quality coupled together, it’d be like consumer corporate health care and it would be fabulous".
What’s the single biggest misunderstanding about health care and health insurance?
"Every time you add a benefit, the cost goes up. So what do we want our insurance to be? What should it be? Should it only be for catastrophic or major things? Should people really be expected to pay some of these costs from their own pocket? It’s a conundrum".
Let’s tackle that question. What should health insurance be?
"I guess I liked it when it was just covering more of the catastrophic illnesses and injuries and maybe a small component of preventative services. Maybe you get $500 a year or something to go get your physical and deal with things, but the rest of it, I mean, you ought to be thinking about, ‘I have to write a check for this. I’m going to go get this service.’ Less benefits are going to lead to less cost and less premiums".