A: Other countries threaten to copy drug costs & so insurers cut costs to avoid being out of the loop. There’s a decision to be made on how hard to push. For some issues, i.e. H1N1, we helped companies develop the drugs quickly and so part of the cost was taken off at the end. We need to balance and still protect innovation.
Q: How to ensure competition in rural areas?
A: With this plan, there will be a different level of competition. If premiums go down, competition goes up. This model serves as an incubator for products that are better than current, similar products. We want the market to move more towards individual plans, not group plans. Successful groups such as SAS have group plans, but they are individualized to employee needs.
Q: You mentioned the VA system, what can we learn from programs that do work? Community Care saves money in NC and has higher health care outcomes and pays family practices a little more.
A: Community Care is the most progressive Medicaid program out there. But we have to think of the entire country. There are things there for us to learn; it’s about the wrap-around services, making sure patients get care in the right place. Everyone being cooperative makes it a better plan.
The VA hospital system was rated #1 system in the county. I’m not convinced of all parts of the VA. It is a captured audience and isn’t open to being merged with other health care aspects.
NC has new VA outpatient facilities that focus on providing all necessary care in one place.
Q: Concerning the current bill, we are concerned that it will be passed and isn’t optimal. What can we do to show that we don’t support it?
A: Some legislators haven’t read it. I am open to co-ops, but not with governmental involvement. Co-ops are member owned & member driven. Just changing the name doesn’t make any difference.
Bill 3200 contributes to the national debt. No one has been able to show that 3200 brings down health care costs. That is the entire reason we are trying to create health care reform. We have looked at everything and our plan is the best way to achieve the three needs:
1) Has to cover everyone
2) Health care costs go down bc of prevention, wellness, and chronic disease care
3) Has to be fiscally sustainable