Friday, November 14, 2008

Colorado Hospital Association and Universal Coverage

The American Hospital Association (AHA) will be pursuing "universal health care" in 2009, and according to my sources the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is reportedly in agreement with this agenda.

One of the basic principles espoused by the AHA is "Health Coverage For All, Paid For By All" -- a very collectivist slogan reminiscent of the Marxist dictum, "To each according to his need, from each according to his ability."

To accomplish this goal, the AHA advocates the following:
Every individual must have and contribute to the cost of health care coverage

Every employer must take responsibility for providing health care coverage for their employees and contribute to the cost

Every insurer must guarantee access to coverage that is affordable, gives consumers the protection they need, and delivers value

Governments must maintain their current responsibility for coverage for seniors, disabled and certain low income people

Collective financing will be needed
These goals will dovetail nicely with what we know about President-elect Obama's health care plan, which includes the following:
Mandated insurance for children

State subsidies for those families who don't qualify for other government programs (such as Medicaid or SCHIP)

Mandates on employers to provide a "meaningful share" of employees health insurance premiums (or else pay a special fee to the government for the government plan)

Expansion of SCHIP and Medicaid government programs, "for the children"

Creating a National Health Insurance Exchange to serve as a clearinghouse where people could purchase government-approved plans

New restrictions on insurers so that they could not exclude applicants based on pre-existing conditions
The Obama plan has many similarities to the ill-fated Massachusetts plan, except for not imposing an individual insurance mandate on everyone. Massaschusetts imposes this mandate on all adults, whereas Obama's plan would only impose it on children. For more on the problems in Massachusetts, see some of our earlier posts.

We'll be hearing much more about both the AHA proposals and the Obama plan in the near future. For now, I just wanted to alert FIRM readers that these issues may be arising at both the state and national levels here in Colorado.

Stay tuned!...