Considering the three main objectives of health care reforms by the Congress, i.e contain health care costs, universal accessibility to health care and to improve the quality of health care, the public is eagerly waiting to assess how far the legislation is going to meet the goals for health care reform this year. People are expecting the House Bill to be a generous one to be passed by the Congress, which will provide affordable health care facilities to the public. The Senate Finance Committee may restrict the eligibility for getting subsidies in order to help the lower income group to take health insurance plans and people believe that any conference between the House and Senate bills will cut down on the outcomes of the House.
More than one thousand three hundred insurance companies in the nation is working for profits as they are mainly owned mainly by investors (shareholders) who wants maximum profits, minimum losses and high return on their investments. Hence private insurance companies gain a lot of new customers even though they provide limited coverage with huge premiums. The present reform bills does not have the control in the health care cost as the private insurance companies are free to set their own prices for the policies. Also, the subsidies given by the government at present are at a higher rate. Presently, as per the Common Wealth Fund, the average costs incurred for the health insurance plan by a family of four members is more than nineteen percent of their net family income. If the House and Senate bills further restrict the eligibility limit for the limit of coverage and subsidies, the patients and their families will end up in paying a higher amount for their health insurance plan, than what they are paying now.
House Bill already calls for the four different levels of health coverage that is going to be provided through the Exchange which ranges from seventy to ninety five percent of the benefit costs. To further cut down the costs for the reform package, the Senate is offering a plan which is only sixty percent of the benefit costs. This again means that the public will be paying a higher cost for a lesser cover. Also the plans that encourage the prevention as well as wellness of the customers with the extended use of information technology will again push up the cost of health insurance.
From all these points, it is evident that even if the House bill can overcome the oppositions by Democrats and Republicans, they will not be able to fulfill the two major goals, which provides affordable health insurance and contain health care costs. The recent amendment to the house bill would permit the government to cut down the prices of the drugs for Medicare patients. In spite of such beneficial provisions, people does not want to believe that these reforms by the Congress can actually fulfill its objectives. Public are still confused whether the health insurance will actually be affordable to them and that they can get the health care without feeling the heavy burden of it.