Schumer: Public health plans should follow commercial rules

Despite the rising tide of support for public health plans, heaven knows there are forces allied to push back. In a bid to appease some of those forces, notably the members of the health industry trade industry group AHIP, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is proposing regulations that would restrict public health plans to following the rules that private health plans already do.

Under Schumer's proposal, a public heath plan would differ from many other nationalized heath plans in several respects:

* It would pay claims from premiums and co-pays, rather than from a government funding source.
* It would pay higher rates than Medicare.
* Providers wouldn't be required to participate in the plan.
* It would have a reserve fund.

While these proposals may do something to relieve the fears of commercial health plan advocates, how would these financial structures would affect a national heath plan's ability to do what it does best--cover everyone?

To learn more about Schumer's proposal:
- read this HFMA News article

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