Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's Next For US Healthcare?

The new health care law, with or without amendments, is a yet to be built structure. It is an architect's plan of an interpretation of a vision of health care. There are stated and unstated goals that will or will not be met in the final structure once it is erected.

No one truly knows what the final health care system will look like. No one understands how all the parts, all the regulations, all the economic forces, all the wealth distribution, all the changes to health insurance, health care, Medicare, and taxes will interact.

No one knows what GDP effects the new law will have on the health care sector or the entire US economy. No one knows what effect the new spending and most likely increased US debt will have on the Treasury market and on the US dollar.

It will be years before the law is fully implemented and the parts that are set into motion are then again stable.

The Second World War wage freeze indirectly created the employer health care employee benefit and it became one of the prime movers of health care problems 60 years later. Likewise, the new law in a couple of decades will put the US in an economic and political situation it never envisioned.

There are risks to rolling stones down hills. Sometimes, they create avalanches. Sometimes, they are just a few stones rolling down hill.

It is impossible for anyone to say the US will be better or worse for the new law at this time. It will be years before any accurate assessment of the new law will occur.

Like any new house built from plans, there will be some good parts, some minor, easily fixed structural problems, some emergency repairs, some wish list changes and some I learned my lesson never to do again problems.

As of Tuesday, US health care is a ship that has entered uncharted waters. Whether it easily reaches port or faces dangers along the way is unknown. Let us hope enough watchful eyes know how to keep health care on course as it navigates new, uncharted waters. Let us hope the architect's plans of the new structure were enough to build a lasting and sound edifice.

My best guess is that the parts of current health care that people like that are no longer available will be put back into health care. The new parts that people like will stay. Proposed spending cuts that are politically difficult will not be made.

In the end, the US will wind up with an amalgam of old and new health care in a structure that no one envisioned as part of the new legislation with a cost structure very different than projected.

No comments:

Post a Comment