Greed, Guilt or Fear? The Dinosaurs Ante In $2 Trillion for the Healthcare Poker Game

Greed, Guilt or Fear? Dinosaurs? Poker Game? What does all this mean.

Didn’t the private sector health insurers and pharma companies boldly and selflessly commit to $2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years?

First, we all know that only 3 things motivate people greed, guilt and fear and the health insurers are scared to death of having public plan competition so fear is their main motivator, though they must be licking their chops to have mandated coverage.

Second the dinosaurs. If you saw my post the other day about the health insurers and others still using the 8 year old browser IE 6 – a dinosaur in technology terms then this title makes sense. Luddites committing to reducing costs. That makes me feel good! Heck, simply upgrading their browsers internally might save that much money allowing their people to use the web to its full capabilities.

Third the President, a great poker player himself, has just lured the fat cats to sit at his table and voluntarily put 1.5% efficiency improvements over 10 years adding up to $2 trillion on the table. He praised them and talked very nicely knowing that you can’t play poker without a full table.  A $2 trillion  ante but as in all poker games the stakes will get higher and once in the game the insurers are now very publicly stuck playing their cards and being part of the solution.

So what has happened so far in the first 2 rounds of this poker game?

  1. Pre-existing conditions dropped in their underwriting if there was no public option was offered by AHIP a few months ago.
  2. Systemic inefficiency and aaccountability for it is now on the table. The insurers have now admitted that they can improve their operations going forward and put a huge number on that piece alone.

The next round of bets will be on truly reshaping how they so business, cutting real costs, improving service and ultimately competing in a new healthcare system. The Dinosaurs are scared to death of extinction and have blinked twice, not a good thing to do in a poker game, especially with a President who knows how to play and has a huge stack of political chips to play with.

Credit the adminsitration with getting the players to the table and into the game because without everyone playing there will be no true progress. Also watch how the President plays his cards the rest of the way… I wouldn’t bet against him crafting a sound and cost effective solution.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Healthcare

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