COVID-19, Healthcare, and the Election: 5 Things that Matter Now
We knew healthcare would be the No. 1 issue for voters, but we didn’t know it would be THIS healthcare issue. COVID-19 has changed everything, including the voter healthcare issues. Here’s my take on the big healthcare moves.
The “Un-“s of Healthcare
The uninsured, underinsured, and uncertain have exploded the roles of the health insecure in the country. More Americans are unsure about their ability to pay for healthcare services when needed than ever before. If every voting age adult who was healthcare insecure voted for the same person for president, that person would win in the largest landslide in American history.
RIP Medicare for All
Medicare for all is a distant memory campaign slogan. The Sanders and Biden forces have agreed to a compromise public option that would be available for all people not currently on a government plan that will base its provider reimbursements on Medicare and be administered by the government.
I’m not sure if the campaign strategists who devised the compromise know that Medicare is actually administered by private insurance companies, but that is news for another day.
Insurance Company Record Profits
The pause in discretionary medical care because of COVID-19 is creating record profits for insurance companies. The record profits are also considered cannon fodder for politicians. Ready, aim, fire at the insurance company fat cats!
Medical Provider Seismic Shift
Virtual office visits are here to stay. Primary care is in trouble, and a new economy and delivery system using technology and virtual delivery of care may be a path for this important element of healthcare to survive.
Increasing Government’s Role in Healthcare
Healthcare has gone through a gradual “governmentization” over the past decade as Medicare and Medicaid enrollments swelled. Increased government coverage will be joined by government regulation of billing and pricing of healthcare services and prescription drugs.
To say it’s been an interesting last several months would be a massive understatement. Stay tuned, as it’s about to get even more interesting as the election nears.