Insurance companies should be reduced to paying out claims and not making judgments on what is "appropriate" [4 Conundrums That Impede Healthcare Reform, usnews.com]. Let the doctors make that call. To keep people from abusing the system, make sure there is a large "co-pay" on the already established list of noncritical procedures. Just don't let the insurance companies have any power beyond collecting monthly premiums and paying providers. And they should all be nonprofits to take away the greed factor that now motivates them.
Comment by Rob of MN
After reading Rick Newman's article above, I realized that he hit on a point that has been missing. Taking this whole issue of Healthcare Reform in small chunks and fixing it a bit at a time. The old adage of "how do you eat an elephant...one bite at a time" or "the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." Why are we forced to reform the whole healthcare system right now? Let us take one step at a time, one bite at a time, until we reach the goal. Certainly there will be kinks to work out. This way those kinks will be manageable and not overwhelming as will most certainly be the case in a total revamping of the system.
Comment by Dave of UT
The problem with the United States is there is an "insurance" mentality. If HR 3200 passes then the insurance companies will authorize or deny healthcare rather than the physicians who prescribe it. It should be the right of tax-paying U.S. citizens to receive healthcare without a clerk pre-authorizing, authorizing, or denying it. Healthcare has deteriorated in this country because it is run by the insurance companies. Naturally, they deny claims so they can meet their operating budgets. Do away with insurance companies altogether, and voila—lower healthcare costs. Let licensed physicians do their jobs by prescribing healthcare for their patients.
Comment by Karen of CA
I agree that healthcare costs dampen wages. Requiring small businesses to provide worker healthcare or be penalized will also dampen job growth and consumerism. I am also intrigued by the current "public option" available to the uninsured: Go to the emergency room with your medical needs! Costly? According to this article the current "public option" is less costly. It could be expanded seven or eight times and still not cost more than the proposed plan to cover the uninsured!
Comment by Ken of TX