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  • Only Real Reform Can Enable Integrated Health Systems

    The Washington Post and New York Times both have front page stories out today on Sen. Kent Conrad’s (D-ND) co-op fall back  for President Barack Obama’s imperiled public plan. The NYT reports: “The history of health insurance in the United States is full of largely unsuccessful efforts to introduce new models of insurance that would lower costs. And the health insurance markets of many states suggest that any new entrant would face many difficulties in getting established.” WaPo reads: “There are at least two major health-care organizations that could serve as models for Congress: HealthPartners in Minnesota and Group Health Cooperative, based in Seattle. They employ physicians and own health-care facilities, giving them greater power to control the delivery of care.”

    HealthPartners and Group Health Cooperative are both high quality integrated health systems much like Intermountain Health in Colorado and Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, which have both been praised by President Barack Obama. These are all wonderful health care systems which can serve as models to other providers. But the reason they are so hard to replicate is not because of too little government intervention, but because of too much.

    Like all health providers today, these entities are all subject to the perverse tax incentives and regulations that blunt all innovative systems. Each are subject to state (and federal) mandates that push up costs and a federal tax code that forces them to be primarily employer based plans. Real health care reform would mean restructuring the tax code to decouple health insurance and employment and encouraging states to drop costly mandates that drive up health insurance costs for everyone. Once freed from cookie-cutter federal and state regulations, Americans would be much more likely to see new enterprises like HealthPartners, Group Health, Intermountain, and Mayo, be established, expand, and flourish.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Only Real Reform Can Enable Integrated Health Systems

    1. Lionel Knopp says:

      The only way to break the insurance monopaly is to pass the public OPTION!!!!!!!!!!1

    2. Lionel Knopp says:

      The only way to break up the insurances monopoly is to pass a public OPTION!!!!!!!!!

    3. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 08/18/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    4. Jackson CA says:


      Look at their TRACK RECORD: 242,000 DE@D from 9ll to 2013 when this becomes LAW!

      [22,000 X 11 Years = 242,000] How do INSURANCE EXECUTIVES sleep at NIGHT?

      I guess $342 Million for an Executive over five years can buy a L0T of SLEEP1NG P1LLS!

      Healthcare CEO PAY over 5 years – One person in each of 25 Companies: TOTAL $14.9 billion

    5. Bobbie Jay says:

      The monopoly is the government!

    6. Brian, South Jordan, says:

      Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah organization. Intermountain's roots are the hospital and health care system originally founded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – aka the Mormons. To the best of my knowledge, Intermountain doesn't have any facilities in Colorado. Utahns (yes, that's what we call ourselves) just hate it when people confuse our great state with our neighbor to the east.

      Keep up the good work Conn.

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