SOLUTIONS TO THE UNINSURED HEALTHCARE DELIVERY CHALLENGE:
a)Reduce the cost of Healthcare b)Socialize delivery of Healthcare by making it a government program c)Innovate and create a blend of low cost healthcare delivery methods with cost sharing by individual and government
a) Reduce the cost of Healthcare: This is easier said than done. There are too many stakeholders in the business of healthcare which will make a unilateral executive decision to reduce health care cost a mute subject. There are several efforts by government, individual corporations, associations and religious organizations to attempt to bring healthcare costs down. However there is not a significant outcome from all of these efforts as of 2009. b) Socialize delivery of Healthcare: The government controlled delivery of healthcare in the USA is going to create a significant loss of jobs, and shut down many companies. This is not a viable concept in present economic and political landscape. However there could a some forceful effort by government to stop the increase in healthcare costs going forward. c) Innovate and create a blend of low cost healthcare delivery methods with cost sharing by individual and government: This is the most likely scenario to take place in the free economy context of USA. There is a possibility that people with current employment and health insurance policy may keep the present plans, but uninsured and underinsured population can be helped by government-private partnership. There could be several innovative technologies such as telemedicine, telephony, and electronic health systems to reduce the healthcare delivery cost significantly. The concept of free clinics and government subsidy for critical care hospitals may need to be advanced. The size and scope of this enterprise is larger than most public programs. The total affected lives could be more than 50 million uninsured and another 67 million elderly people. This is one third of american population and cost of providing healthcare at reduced or no cost is going to be significant. There are several models of healthcare delivery such as microinsurance, free clinic, subsidized medication, and teleconsults which when integrated could provide a possible solution. However this is a complex issue which requires extensive testing of various models, proper measurement of outcomes, and cost analysis before implementation.