Nov 28, 2012
When I decided to write on health care reform, I went online to find out how Wikipedia defined “reform.” I laughed when I read that the only difference between “reform” and “revolution” is that reform is a fine tuning while revolution is a radical change. Granted, they both are used to right a wrong, but I am not sure if what has been enacted should be considered a fine tuning.
I want to be clear my opinion is biased and my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are financed by the health care system. Specifically, my company, McQuade Consulting, generates revenue from either consulting with companies or through commissions earned on insurance premiums.
When it became evident that health care reform was here to stay, we (my business partner, Peter Chesner, and I) decided that getting certified in health care reform would be a good idea. Prior to the election (yes, prior) we traveled to Florida to meet Sandy (the hurricane) and listen to the nation’s most knowledgeable advisers, experts, educators and politicians.
We came back to Maryland energized at the possibilities of reform. What was clear to us was that if you were not ahead of the curve you were going to be whipped by it. We have created the models to efficiently guide our clients and look forward to the evolution. Unfortunately, there are still gaps that have not been bridged and questions that have not been answered.
The goal of health care reform was to provide access, affordability and quality. I could argue that all three elements are subject to individual interpretations. For now, let’s only discuss affordability, as the access and quality elements mostly affect individuals and not corporations or organizations.
If you are an employer and have 49 employees or less, you are exempt from the law on a federal level, but Maryland has yet to disclose what is up its sleeve. If you are a large employer of unskilled workers you are either going to pay more for your portion of the premiums or pay more taxes.
And if you are thinking about just paying the penalties imposed for not offering health care to your team, you may make a big mistake. Congress has the ability to change the penalties associated with not having a plan or not contributing enough to the plan at any time. (Washington learned how to create loopholes for itself that might ultimate tie up the taxpayer!)
With change comes opportunity for some and demise for others. We see this as an opportunity. Providing millions of Americans with access to quality health care is essential. The main question is will it be “affordable” to both the individual and the corporation.
So, revolution or reform? Only time will tell.