A New Social Contract for Health Care Insurance Costs

Topics: Medicine, Health economics, Social security Pages: 2 (805 words) Published: August 3, 2012
A New Social Contract for Health Care Insurance Costs
The new social contract between the health care system and employers, patients, and the government has given everyone involved some breathing room. They have provided a clearer picture of the costs of health care; however, it is evident that there is still work to be done regarding the transparency of complete and exact costs. For example; all hospitals have a price list called the chargemaster that includes nearly 20,000 health care procedures. The prices on this list are the prices that patients will most likely see on their bills; however, the terms are not standardized and many are bundled services that make it difficult to compare them with other institutions. It is obvious that even though the public does see more of what is being paid out on their behalf and by whom, true transparency is still lacking (Curtis P. McLaughlin and Craig D. McLaughlin, 2008). If I were to propose a new social contract to try to solve the health care cost concerns between the health care system and the professionals, and another between the people and the states, it would be similar to that of Japan. Everyone in Japan is covered by the same high-quality health insurance for medical, dental and prescription drugs and the premium they pay is based on their income as well as employment and household status. All insurance plans cover the same services at the same cost and do not compete with one another for these reasons. There are also subsidies for the elderly and low-income citizens to afford health care, which means that everyone is covered one way or another (Michael Tanner, 2008). Given these facts, my new social contract between the health care system and the professionals would be premium payments based on how much money the company actually makes instead of how many employees work at a company. For example; every year premiums are set by how much money the company is expected to bring in throughout...
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