Tag Archives: health care reform

Health Care Reform without Tears, Part 3: Private health insurance

by Samuel Metz, Contributing Writer

Part two of this series left readers with the unhappy prospect of an Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) failing to achieve universal access, lower costs or better health. What about our private health insurance industry? Many individuals and organizations advocate unfettered competition among insurance companies on a nationwide basis, releasing them from the jungle of regulation created by 50 individual states. Free market competition brought down the costs of flat-screen televisions. Can’t it do the same for health care?

There is some foundation for this position. After all, most central Europeans finance health care with private insurance companies and their health is better than ours while spending half of what we do.

The flaw in this proposition is in vocabulary. European “Private health insurance” resembles American “Private health insurance” the way European football does to American football. Different games, different goals, different rules. Continue reading

Health care reform bills omit sociological, psychological services

By Amanda Waldroupe
Staff Writer

A patient’s housing and sociological condition can have a direct effect on his or her health care, but a bill in Salem to incorporate those providers into the new health care reform failed to make the books.

As a result, the legislature has left unanswered a critical question in the state’s new health care structure: Will health providers serving Oregon Health Plan patients work with social-service providers to address a patient’s sociological and psychological barriers to health care.

Senate Bill 1522 would have required coordinated care organizations, which are currently developing to provide care to Oregon Health Plan patients by July, to incorporate and pay for addressing a patient’s sociological and psychological barriers to getting quality health care and becoming healthy.

Coordinated care organizations (CCOs) are the backbone of the reforms the Legislature has made to the Oregon Health Plan’s delivery system (see, “Just What the Legislature Ordered,” Street Roots, Oct. 14). CCOs are foreseen as locally driven organizations made up of patient teams — including doctors, nurses, behavioral health providers, community health workers, etc.

Continue reading