Target: President-Elect Donald Trump
Goal: Reform the United States health care system, including lowering the cost of insurance and ridding the system of out-of-network doctors.
The United States has the highest health care costs in the developed world while it also has some of the worst health outcomes. The cost of health insurance is so outrageous that many people go without. This leads to many health conditions, such as obesity and mental illness, going untreated because people cannot afford to see a doctor. Having a network system exacerbates this issue as people who do have health insurance often cannot afford to see the doctor they wish to see; or, worse, their current doctor is dropped from the insurance holder’s network.
Despite the health care reforms from the recent past, health insurance remains unaffordable to a large percentage of the United States population. In order to truly reduce the cost of health insurance, a law must be passed to exclude benefit mandates from the requirements for bottom-tier insurance plans. This means that, among other things, insurers would not be required to cover the treatment of specific health conditions in lower-priced insurance policies. In turn, this would lower the cost of the cheapest plans, making health insurance affordable for those who are healthy but not wealthy.
The affordability issue is worsened when patients realize their doctors are out-of-network and their insurance is not willing to cover as much of their services. Doctors are only considered in-network if they agree to bill at prices low enough to make insurance companies want to pay them. Hospital patients are often shocked to be billed so much when the hospital at which they sought care is in-network; they find out the hard truth – while the hospital may be in their network, the doctor they received care from was not. What happens in an emergency? In emergencies you often don’t get a choice of which doctor attends to you; now you’re stuck with a hospital bill from an out-of-network doctor that most people can’t possibly pay.
As a reform, I would like to persuade President-Elect Trump to pass a law that requires insurance companies to include all doctors under their coverage. In addition, a law should be passed that allows insurance companies to have policies that don’t have benefit mandates in order to have plans that are affordable.
Dear Mr. Trump,
The United States has one of the worst health care systems of the industrialized countries. The cost of health care alone is exorbitant, and the cost of health insurance inflames the issue. How is the average person supposed to be able to insure their health and still be able to cover the expenses insurance companies refuse to cover? The truth is that a vast amount of the population is not able to afford health coverage. This means your citizens don’t seek the health care they need, forcing any health issues they may have to go untreated.
I am urging you to create a system that allows insurance companies to lower their rates by removing benefits mandates from their bottom-tier plan. In addition, patients should no longer be caught in the crossfires of battles between doctors and insurance companies. We implore you to, at the very least, make insurance companies responsible for negotiating payment of surprise bills from out-of-network doctors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: DarkoStojanovic