Tuesday, July 30, 2013

HCR -- Government Run Health Care in Montana

Next time someone complains about "government run health care" don't let the phrase pass without asking what they mean. It's the most abused and ignorant phrase in most conversations about health care reform, typically heard in anti-Obamacare rants. We do have government health care in the Veterans Administration, community clinics and the active duty armed services. But most people who complain about government run health care are not thinking about those programs. Typically they have been drinking too much GOP kool aid and are repeating anti-Obamacare talking points. (That's why they are called talking points, not thinking points.)  So tell them about what Montana has started...
Montana's State-Run Free Clinic Sees Early Success
by Dan Boyce
July 30, 2013 

A year ago, Montana opened the nation's first clinic for free primary healthcare services to its state government employees. The Helena, Mont., clinic was pitched as a way to improve overall employee health, but the idea has faced its fair share of political opposition. 
[...]  The state contracts with a private company to run the facility and pays for everything — wages of the staff, total costs of all the visits. Those are all new expenses, and they all come from the budget for state employee healthcare. 
Even so, division manager Russ Hill says it's actually costing the state $1,500,000 less for healthcare than before the clinic opened. 
"Because there's no markup, our cost per visit is lower than in a private fee-for-service environment," Hill says. 
Physicians are paid by the hour, not by the number of procedures they prescribe like many in the private sector. The state is able to buy supplies at lower prices. 
Bottom line: a patient's visit to the employee health clinic costs the state about half what it would cost if that patient went to a private doctor. And because it's free to patients, hundreds of people have come in who had not seen a doctor for at least two years
If your head hasn't exploded already, go to the link for more details. But this quote above tells the reason government-sponsored (face it:  medical professionals actually run the system, not the state)  less costly and just as effective as what comes by way of insurance companies.

Better yet, just listen to the program here:

No comments:

Post a Comment