With so many different stakeholders in the health care system, many with powerful political lobbies, it is understandable that the government has been unable, until the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, to effectively address the problems of cost, access, and quality. Despite this recent legislature, employers and the public have deep concerns about the ever-increasing costs of health care. Physicians, hospitals and other providers continue to voice displeasure with managed health plans’ requirements and restrictions, while employers and the insured are railing against potential huge premium increases. Should government continue to take an aggressive role in reshaping the health care system or should the economy be allowed to continue exerting market-driven reforms? Please take a stance of either pro-government or pro-free enterprise factions and explain how the public will fare in each situation. How are the problems of cost, access, and quality likely to be addressed in each circumstance?
The practice of medicine, long valued for individual entrepreneurship and physician control, has undergone dramatic change. Physicians now face vexing oversight of case and utilization management and loss of control over the allocation of health care dollars. Managed care organizations control health costs by arbitrarily refusing reimbursement for certain medical procedures and reducing payments for others. Since medicine is now a less attractive career option, will fewer high performing individuals choose to become physicians? What are the implications for the quality of care?