Fam Pract Manag. 2001 Mar;8(3):13-14.
Universal coverage concerns
To the Editor:
Universal coverage for all Americans with a basic health plan is a laudable goal for the most part, but I have serious reservations about a couple tenets of the AAFP’s draft health care coverage proposal. [See the November/December 2000 Editor’s Page, “How Do You Like Your Universal Coverage?” page 11.]
Having all businesses contribute to the financing of the coverage certainly seems equitable but will most likely cripple many small and start-up businesses operating on thin profit margins. Also, the states are rapidly wasting tobacco-settlement money on various programs not related to health care with nary a whimper from organized medicine. Why should we expect this money to be used correctly?
Having worked in two health care systems that saw patients without co-pays, I know that utilization will increase if there are no co-pays. However, there should be some direct cost to the patient for a service provided; otherwise our time and skills mean nothing to them.
Finally, having worked directly with patients covered by the Oregon Health Plan, I can assure you that it has not lived up to its utopian ideal. It’s currently plagued with financial problems and has difficulty finding providers to take its patients. This will only worsen as medicine becomes more expensive and consumes a larger portion of each year’s state budget.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Send your comments to email@example.com. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.
Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions