The American health care system with all its perceived flaws ison the right track to healing itself, according to U.S. Rep. TomPetri, R-6th Dist. In part because of individuals taking morecontrol over their own lives.
“I think more people are taking charge through wellnesschanges and companies paying for memberships in healthclubs,” said Petri.
Petri says with planning ahead and health savings accounts anindividual can save a lot.
U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-8th Dist., supports those individualefforts but says moving forward as is won't address the problems ofrising costs and millions of people without insurance.
Kagen says a government set up public health insurance option,as outlined in the reform bill, is needed to compete with privateinsurers to drive down costs in the future.
“Unless we have insurance companies competing for yourhard earned money we will not have succeeded. In my view the publicoption offers that opportunity to keep insurance companies honest,create a level playing field,” said Kagen.
The idea is private insurers would be held to a fair price orface losing clients to the public plan open to anyone.
Petri says government involvement in setting costs is dangerous,and instead favors a more open marketplace.
“My hope is that we would go to a system where people andindividual health care purchasers would have greater incentive andability to control costs rather than rely on government setreimbursement rates,” said Petri.
Kagen also believes government support in attracting andeducating new health care professionals and focusing on prevention- as outlined in the house reform bill - will lead to costreductions in the future
“The savings yet to come are in new technology. Innovationis the American spirit after all. And also having hospitals becomelean in their business model and then by allowing the marketplace,use the power of the marketplace to leverage down the insurancepremiums and prescription drugs for all of us,” saidKagen.
“Most of the innovation in medicine in the world occurs inthe United States,” said Petri.
Petri points out once again progress is being made without moregovernment involvement and says rearranging the health care systemmight be a better idea than allocating more funds.
“I think 17 percent of our spending on health care isenough,” said Petri.
Our Congressmen head back to Washington after Labor Day tocontinue the debate and possibly vote on a health care reform bill.Democrats expect something to pass by the end of the year.
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