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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Kerry Health Plan a Nightmare for Small Business

I decided to take up John Kerry's request to go to his website and read his health care plane. What I read frightens me. Rather than simplifying the whole process. It adds layers of conditions and bureaucratic wrangling to achieve it's goal. Read this

Adopt Disease Management and Care Coordination Programs to Improve Quality and Lower Costs. Innovative programs targeting patients with chronic conditions have illustrated that both the human and cost consequences of chronic diseases can be alleviated through hands-on medical management. Employers and their insurers must adopt model programs to receive the premium rebate.
The employer is made responsible for their employees health! To participate in the Kerry Health plan, they must ensure that their employees are in a medical management program. What diseases and health problems will be considered to be needing management... obesity, smoking addiction...

In addition to the discounts they get from bulk purchasing, drug manufacturers typically pay PBMs: (1) access rebates for placement of products on PBMs' formularies, (2) financial rebates for garnering a higher market share; (3) administrative fees for assembling data on market share. However, PBMs often do not pass on these savings. John Kerry's plan would require transparency rules for PBMs that do business with the Federal government to clearly show what savings they are receiving from the industry and from bulk purchasing.
So another layer of reporting is added... more cost.

Prohibit individuals from bringing a medical malpractice liability action unless a qualified specialist determines that a reasonable claim exists.
More paperwork... who pays?

Support mandatory sanctions for claims and defenses that are presented for improper purposes or that are not warranted by existing law or by an argument without merit for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.
More legal challenges to sanctions...

Provide additional incentives for reducing the number of lawsuits that can and should be filed. To that end, Senator Kerry would require states to make available nonbinding mediation in all cases before permitting plaintiffs to proceed to trial on any medical liability claim.
States would need to provide an additional level of bureaucracy... more paperwork... who pays?

I have not finished reading the report, but the hidden costs in this system would undermine any saving it might generate... Small business would suffer, from these costs. Kerry wants the employer to pay for the health care, that what this boils down to.

We can see why John Kerry has brought so few laws into reality... they are poor and inneffective.

Links: The Yin Blog, NCPA, BushBlog-Health Care , the 'detailed' Kerry Plan, CCAGW (great article), Medpundit, HD Blog

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