University of Southern California

Election 2012

In Brief

Health Care Proposals: Pros and Cons

August 14, 2009

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What’s right and what’s wrong about the health care plans currently before Congress? Michael Cousineau and David Goldstein of the Keck School of USC and Joel Hay of the USC School of Pharmacy take the legislation’s temperature.

Pro

David Goldstein and Joel Hay: Access to health care for America’s 47 million uninsured

JH: Positive changes for the 15 percent of the population that doesn’t currently have insurance

Michael Cousineau: Employer mandate for large businesses, and individual mandate — everyone must have health insurance or be penalized

MC: Guaranteed issue — individuals can’t be denied health insurance due to their health status

MC: Higher-quality care, as providers focus more on patients and less on dealing with insurance complications

MC: Government health plan option, if it forces private plans to reduce premiums and invest more in patient care, disease management and prevention

Con

MC: Government health plan option, if it provides reimbursements that don’t match costs, triggering cost shifting

MC: Inadequate subsidies to help families and businesses meet the health insurance coverage requirement

JH: Lack of cost containment measures

JH: The 10 percent payroll tax for those who lack qualified employer health plans — a drag on small businesses that will increase the unemployment rate

JH: Negative changes for the 85 percent of the population that does currently have insurance

JH: The $250 billion cut from the Medicare budget, which will hurt quality

JH: Expansions in Medicaid access, which will force states to raise taxes or cut other programs, like education

JH: The plan’s unpopularity, particularly with seniors on Medicare, which could lead to Republicans retaking Congress and revising plan

DG: Lack of provision for the extra primary care doctors and nurse practitioners who will be needed to care for all the new patients

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