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Welcome to the New Health Dialogue

Welcome to our New Health Dialogue blog. Here's a bit about who we are -- and why we are here.

We are the Health Policy Team at the New America Foundation. We’re a bipartisan, multidisciplinary team who believe that with all the reams of studies and statistics about the $2 trillion-dollar U.S. health care system, two numbers stand out:

  • 47 million Americans are uninsured
  • A 60-vote “supermajority” will be needed in the U.S. Senate to pass health reform

So we want to get people talking, now, about solutions. Our blog will be part of the conversation about quality, cost and coverage. We will try to plant ourselves at the intersection of health policy and health politics. We’ll keep an eye on polls and surveys that give some insight into what voters think about the evolving national debate, amidst an anxiety-creating economy. We want to let you know about what’s going on not just in Washington, but in states across the country, states like New Mexico and Vermont and Colorado that are trying to create change but aren’t generating the headlines of Massachusetts and California. We’ll share some of the more interesting nuggets from health policy events here in Washington and around the country. We want to let you know a bit about what’s going on in other countries -- and bust the conservative myth that the only alternative to our system is a British-style national health service. From time to time we’ll introduce you to clinician-innovators who are trying to fix the system from the ground up, in their own clinics, hospitals and communities. We’ll give you some opinions but we’ll also try to give you lots of facts. Sometimes we might even make you laugh.

We are an eclectic bunch -- our senior staff consists of an economist, a lawyer, a journalist and a brain surgeon -- and we joke among ourselves that we’ll either take synergy to new heights or be a really bad guy-walks-into-a-bar joke. We don’t agree on everything amongst ourselves, and we don’t expect our blog readers to agree with everything we say. That’s why we call this a dialogue. Fixing health care is hard. We know the history. We know the obstacles. Health care is huge and tough and too many vested interests have too much money at stake. Too often, the debate stops being about health and starts being about politics. We also know the cost of another stalemate -- more uninsured people, more underinsured people, and more damage to the health care system that still strives to be the best in the world.

Stay tuned

Comments

Health Care Solution

I own a small business with 6 employees. I offer health insurance with a HSA. THe cost and deductibles has gone up dramtically in recent years. The employees continue to bear an increaseing share. I feel the best way is to a have government run universal health care system funded through payroll deduction similiar to medicare. THe cost would be shared by employer and employee.This would eliminate the benefit difference between small and large employers. We all are one large group ( a society). It would give a level playing field between competitors. The premium or payroll deduction would not be aged based. Young and old would pay the same. THe young are going to get old and get sick one day and should be putting away for that day.
THe risk of getting sick at certain age should not be used to calculate premium or payroll deduction -do not call it a tax. The government should set up a trust to pay for those who are not employeed. But the administration should come from one government organization. What to do with the insurance companies? Let then become processors through a bid system. Any sytem still should have deductible choices and the cost and adminstration should be controlled
by an elected Medical Insurance Benefit Board.
These are some ideas. I could go on but I feel a single payer system the most efficent although poltics and status quo may not allow it. Political leadership is essential.
Thanks, Rich

Using a health savings

Using a health savings account to supplement your current health insurance coverage is a great way to save money on your health care costs. Along with saving money on your health care costs, your HSA can get your money working for you by earning interest. And, you can save your HSA money tax-free.

nice

I own a small business with 6 employees. I offer health insurance with a HSA. THe cost and deductibles has gone up dramtically in recent years. The employees continue to bear an increaseing share. I feel the best way is to a have government run universal health care system funded through payroll deduction similiar to medicare. THe cost would be shared by employer and employee.This would eliminate the benefit difference between small and large employers. We all are one large group ( a society). It would give a level playing field between competitors. The premium or payroll deduction would not be aged based. Young and old would pay the same. THe young are going to get old and get sick one day and should be putting away for that day.
THe risk of getting sick at certain age should not be used to calculate premium or payroll deduction -do not call it a tax. The government should set up a trust to pay for those who are not employeed. But the administration should come from one government organization. What to do with the insurance companies? Let then become processors through a bid system. Any sytem still should have deductible choices and the cost and adminstration should be controlled
by an elected Medical Insurance Benefit Board.
These are some ideas. I could go on but I feel a single payer system the most efficent although poltics and status quo may not allow it. Political leadership is essential.
Thanks, Rich