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PHYSICIANS FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM 29 EAST MADISON SUITE 602 CHICAGO, IL 60602 TEL: (312) 782 -6006 WWW. PNHP. ORG
Financial Suffering Among the INSURED
Rising Economic Inequality
Persistent Racial Inequalities
Racial Disparity in Access to Kidney Transplants
Rationing Amidst a Surplus of Care
Variation in Medicare Spending: Some Regions Already Spend at Canadian Level
Half of Americans Live Where Population Is Too Low for Competition A town’s only hospital will not compete with itself Source: NEJM 1993; 328: 148
Profit-Driven HMOs: A Problem, Not a Solution
Medicare HMOs: A Cautionary Tale About Competition Between Public and Private Plans (AKA Public Plan Option)
Despite Medicare’s Lower Overhead, Enrollment of Medicare Patients in Private Plans Has Grown
Private Medicare Plans Have Prospered by Cherry Picking
Investor-Owned Care: Inflated Costs, Inferior Quality
For-Profit Hospitals’ Death Rates are 2% Higher Source: CMAJ 2002; 166: 1399
For-Profit Hospitals Cost 19% More Source: CMAJ 2004; 170: 1817
For-Profit Dialysis Clinics’ Death Rates are 9% Higher Source: JAMA 2002; 288: 2449
Drug Companies’ Cost Structure
High Deductible Insurance: Except for the Healthy and Wealthy, It’s Unwise
Mandate Model Reform: Keeping Private Insurers In Charge
“Mandate” Model for Reform • Proposed by Richard Nixon in 1971 to block Edward Kennedy’s NHI proposal
“Mandate” Model for Reform • Government uses its coercive power to make people buy private insurance.
“Mandate” Model for Reform 1. Expanded Medicaid-like program § Free for poor § Subsidies for low income § Buy-in without subsidy for others 2. Employer Mandate +/- Individuals 3. Managed Care / Care Management
“Mandate” Model - Problems • • Absent cost controls, expanded coverage unaffordable Computers, care management, prevention not shown to cut costs Adds administrative complexity and cost; retains wasteful private insurers Impeccable political logic, economic nonsense
The Massachusetts Reform: Headed Towards Failure
Massachusetts Health Reform New Coverage n < 150% Poverty - Medicaid HMO n 150% - 300% poverty - Partial subsidy n > 300% poverty – Buy Your Own
Massachusetts: Required Coverage (Income > $31 k) n Premium: $4, 800 Annually (56 year old) n $2000 deductible n 20% co-insurance AFTER deductible is reached
Crimes and Punishments in Massachusetts The Crime The Fine Violation of Child Labor Laws $50 Employers Failing to Partially Subsidize a Poor Health Plan for Workers Illegal Sale of Firearms, First Offense $295 Driving Under the Influence, First Offense $500 min. Domestic Assault $1000 max. Cruelty to or Malicious Killing of Animals $1000 max. Communication of a Terrorist Threat $1000 min. Being Uninsured In Massachusetts $500 max. $1068
How Many are Uninsured in Massachusetts? State and Blue Cross Surveys – 2. 6% Phone survey, few non-english speakers n Census Bureau – 5. 5% Door-to-door survey, all local languages n Mass. Department of Revenue – 5% of taxpayers, as of 1/1/2008 – based on tax returns n
Tried and Failed: State Experiments with Mandate Model and Other Incremental Reforms
Massachusetts 2006 “Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced. Gov. Romney. ” “The bill does what health experts say no other state has been able to do: provide a mechanism for all of its citizens to obtain health insurance. ” Sources: Wall Street Journal 4/11/06 and New York Times 4/5/06.
Massachusetts 1988 “I am very proud of the fact that Massachusetts will be the first state in the country to enact universal health insurance. ” Gov. Dukakis` “Massachusetts last week ventured where no state has gone before: it guaranteed health insurance for every resident. ” Sources: New York Times 4/14/88 and 4/26/88
Oregon 1992 “Today our dreams of providing effective and affordable health care to all Oregonians has come true. ” Gov. Roberts “The most far-reaching health care reform in the nation. ” Sources: Washington Post 6/9/92 and 3/20/`93
Tennessee 1992 “The most radical health care plan in America. ” “Tennessee will cover at least 95% of its citizens with health insurance by the end of 1994. ” Gov. Ned Mc. Wherter Sources: Federal & State Insurance Week 4/12/93; and NY Times 9/16/94
Vermont 1992 “This is an incredibly exciting moment that should make all Vermonters proud. ” Gov. Dean “Governor Howard Dean, the only governor who is a doctor, signed a law here today that sets in motion a plan to give Vermont universal healthcare by 1995. ” Source: New York Times 4/12/92
Minnesota 1992/1993 “Minnesota is enacting a program that will be the most sweeping effort yet to provide health insurance to people who lack it. . . the first complete reform proposal in the U. S. ” “Minnesota is about to embark on a plan to solve the healthinsurance crisis that could hold lessons for other states and the nation. ” Sources: New York Times 4/19/92; and Richard Reece, Medical World News 7/1/92.
Washington 1993 Washington state “passed one of the most aggressive health care experiments in the nation, a program that would extend medical benefits to all 5. 1 million residents of the state. . ” Source: New York Times 5/2/93
Maine 2003 “It’s bold and comprehensive, and it’s now the law of the state. ” Gov. Baldacci “Maine has just become the first state in the union to approve a plan to provide universal access to affordable health insurance. ” Sources: AP Newswire 4/25/06 and Ellen Goodman, Washington Post Writers Group 7/7/03.
Public Plan Option: The Next Disappointment
In 1962 Republicans Jacob Javits and John Lindsay proposed a Public Plan Option (H. R. 11253 and S. 2664) as an alternative to a public Medicare plan
Public Plan Option Saves Little Even if Half of Privately-Insured Switch • No savings on hospitals’ billing or internal cost tracking Ø Hospitals already use computerized uniform bill (UB-82) Ø Global budgeting could save $90 bil. annually • No savings on NH/home care bureaucracy ($24 bil. saved with single payer) • No savings on MD office bureaucracy Ø Single payer would save $85 bil. annually through simple, uniform fee schedule, eliminating prior-approval etc. • Insurance overhead reduced $38 bil. v $131 bil. under single payer Ø Private insurers retain significant market share Ø Hospital/NH payment can’t be simplified without global budgets Ø Need to collect premiums, track enrollment disenrollment etc.
Public Plan Option Cannot Solve Cost Problems • Achieves only a fraction (1/7 th) of administrative savings possible through single payer – makes expanded coverage unaffordable • Medicare HMO experience shows private plans undermine fair competition despite regulations – avoid expensively ill • Public plan effectively serves as subsidy for private insurers, taking on many high cost patients and few profitable ones
Public Money, Private Control
The U. S. Trails Other Nations
Canada’s National Health Insurance Program
Quality of Care Slightly Better in Canada Than U. S. A Meta-Analysis of Patients Treated for Same Illnesses (U. S. Studies Included Mostly Insured Patients) Source: Guyatt et al, Open Medicine, April 19, 2007
A National Health Program for the U. S.
Phony vs. Real Reform Phony • Choice of HMO/insurer • Coverage = Copays, exclusions etc. • Security = Lose it if you can’t work or can’t pay • Savings = Less care Real • Choice of doctor and hospital • Coverage = First $, Comprehensive • Security = For everyone, forever • Savings >$400 bil on bureaucracy
Public Opinion Favors Single Payer National Health Insurance
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