the drift


Sunday, July 26, 2009

community health care co-op?

After reading a bit online about the start of the NHS in Britain I think there could be something to this idea of relatively healthy people dropping out of their group health care plans and joining a locally based health care co-op. Before I had children, my lifelong medical care probably totaled somewhere in the 3k to 4k range. During that time, the premiums paid equaled two to three times that. (I think similar math would hold even after having children -- proportion of need to amount of premiums paid since we started getting the cadillac grade insurance plan once we started having kids.)
Of course, I know nothing of the logistics of this. That doesn't make it irrelevant. For middle income and low income people, there is no reason that this shouldn't work, with a little help of some people like Wendell Potter ... former industry execs to consult, local clinicians to provide basic services or local offices to sign on to work with us. I would bet there are plenty of start up doc offices that would rather work with a local entity like this than the myriad insurance companies with all of their hoops and red tape (the start up and maintenance cost of staff and technology is exorbitant from what I saw working for a medical info tech company).
There has to be a way to make this work at least for the most common health care needs. Just because the media doesn't have the answers, and Congress isn't getting creative enough, doesn't mean WE don't have the answers.
I'm curious to hear what people know about this? What are the biggest hurdles? What is doable? I find the idea of grassroots health care reform infinitely more realistic to manage and navigate for most people. I mean really, if the ahole who decides whether you get care paid for you lives next door, isn't it more likely that these co-ops will meet the needs of the payers more?,8599,1906105,00.html


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