SOURCE: Business Benefits Insurance

October 29, 2009 10:18 ET

Edholm of Business Benefits Debunks Health-Care Myths, Offers Solutions in HealthNewsDigest

ANDOVER, MA--(Marketwire - October 29, 2009) - The Obama administration and Congress are missing the message on health-care reform, says a hard-hitting article by Jim Edholm of Business Benefits Insurance in HealthNewsDigest.com.

"Congress and the White House seem to be tone deaf, perhaps entirely deaf. They aren't hearing us," writes Edholm, an employee benefits broker and consultant based in Andover, Mass.

Edholm says the "factoid" of 47 million uninsured Americans -- frequently cited by proponents of a public plan -- is misleading. That figure includes 9 million illegal immigrants, an estimated 7 million people who are eligible for Medicaid but haven't yet signed up, 5 million who have coverage but have forgotten it because they don't pay for it, and another 10 million to 15 million who are eligible for health-care at work but don't feel like paying the premium.

"We're left with 10 million to 16 million truly uninsured, some large fraction of which are between jobs and will be covered within months," he writes. "We don't need to completely rebuild a system that more-than-adequately serves 285 out of 300 million Americans."

Edholm offers an 11-point plan for cutting costs and improving access.

--  Stop paying for medical mistakes.
    
--  Fund best-practices research showing which treatments are truly most
    effective.
    
--  Reduce payments for ineffective treatments.
    
--  Mandate transparency of cost and quality outcomes for doctors and
    hospitals. Make it readily available and easily accessible by the public.
    
--  Reward wise health selections.  Share savings from wise provider
    selections with those users who choose appropriate providers.
    
--  To facilitate electronic medical records and claims submissions,
    require that doctors adopt technology.
    
--  Subsidize and encourage tele-medicine.
    
--  Identify, develop and publicize "centers of excellence" for complex,
    infrequent or expensive procedures.
    
--  Find a way to require carriers to eliminate pre-existing condition
    limitations without bankrupting the insurers.
    
--  Allow cross-border purchase of insurance by individuals not insured by
    employer plans.
    
--  About 85% of the uninsured have incomes below 300% of the poverty
    line.  It would surely be cheaper to subsidize those people than to rebuild
    the entire system.
    

Read the full story at http://tinyurl.com/ylnlw4z.

Business Benefits Insurance (www.bbibenefits.com) is an employee benefits planning firm in Andover, Mass. Edholm's benefits blog can be read at http://bbibenefits.wordpress.com.

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