Someone should tell our members of Congress that the issue they should be dealing with is health care costs. Apparently Americans know this. According to some recent Gallup polls cost is the main issue for Americans. In an open-ended question, Americans are most likely to say cost (38%) is the biggest problem with healthcare in the United States today, followed by too many uninsured (15%), and insurance companies (13%). According to the poll, 85% of Americans with health insurance coverage are broadly satisfied with the quality of medical care they receive and with their healthcare costs.
The bad news is that Americans tend to look at health care costs from their little corner of the world defining health care costs as they apply to their own health insurance. That is, they are worried about reductions in their own benefits, and they have little idea of what health care really costs beyond their deductible and co-payments Of course, that is to be expected, but it is just another indicator that our leadership needs to focus the discussion on the real and broad issues for America and stop the rhetoric demonizing insurance companies and claiming to be reforming health care when what is really happening is expanding coverage and perpetuating the myth that the road to our salvation in health care is wellness programs.
While many employers are seeing costs skyrocket with double digit percentage increases for 2010, members of the Senate Finance Committee debate whether employers can offer a 30% or 50% discount to employees who participate in a wellness program.