From Deloitte's Center for Health Solutions, comes "Ten Myths of Health Care Reform." Just how well is health care reform understood? Take a look below and you will see. Download the report in its entirety below.
Myth 1: Most Americans like our current system. They want the current system protected at all costs. In fact, most people see the system as overly coplex and inefficient, and they want it fixed.
Myth 2: Myth: Most Americans understand the U.S. system and think it’s better than others. Actually, they don't understand it, nor do they understand the systems of other countries.
Myth 3: There’s not enough money in the U.S. health system. At $9000 per capita, there is a tremendous amount of money in the system, it's just directed poorly and geared mostly towards responding to problems when they occur. Incentives must change, and they are, but the money is there.
Myth 4: Government health care programs—Medicare and Medicaid—are poorly managed and need overhaul. Administrative cost of government run programs, oddly enough, are less expensive than their commercial unsurance counterparts. Overall expenses continue to soar and must be overhauled, but not because of administrative expenses.
Myth 5: There is a shortage of primary care physicians. Well, kind of...if you assume that these services can only be provided by MDs. The reality is that nurse practitioners and physician assistants, nutrionists and other practitioners can provide services more efficiently, are well qualified to do so, and are grossly underutilized.
Myth 6: The major driver of health costs is unhealthy lifestyles, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) doesn’t address this at all. We'll have to address lifestyle issues, but but the major presumption of ACA relative to lifestyle issues is this: access to health insurance for 32 million newly insured Americans will put a dent in unhealthy lifestyles by taking down a barrier to the system’s providers and programs.
Myth 7: The ACA does nothing to lower costs. Actually it does, between reducing avoidable readmissions and lowering the cost of many services. However, the greatest costs savings will be achieved by the transition from our current "paternalistic" system in which patients are told what to do to one in which patients bear more responsibility for their own decisons.
Myth 8: Most of the care that’s recommended is necessary. And most of what the system spends is therefore appropriate and unavoidable. Admittedly, most of the care is probably necessary but a substantial amount isn’t, and knowing the differences between the two is essential to better health and lower costs. The ACA assures that needed systems and measures will be in place that assure appropriateness of care for all, regardless of location.
Myth 9: The health insurance industry is the problem, and its fate uncertain. There are two reasons insurance as an industry will thrive in coming years: (1) employers and consumers value financial security resulting from insurance coverage and they want to keep coverage; (2) enrollment in managed care will increase. Virtually every state is implementing managed Medicaid via private plans. It's not going away, but it will change dramatically.
Myth 10: : Health reform is about the future of the ACA. The system’s costs at 17.6% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), 25% of the federal budget, 23% of the average state budget, and 19% of household discretionary spending makes this a huge priority...it's a national discussion that must be had, regardless of the ACA.
Download Deloitte's report in its entirety here