BASHING HEALTH PLANS….I agree with many people who hate their current insurance company. When we switched companies, every bill for my children in the first year was kicked back stating it was a pre-existing condition ? even when the problem was ear infections and the like which are clearly not pre-existing conditions. We all have complaints.

However, there are very good, if not perfect, health plans. Think of Kaiser or Group Health of Puget Sound or IHC. These are well run plans that take care of tens of millions of Americans. They critically evaluate drugs; they provide useful inforamtion and guidelines to their physicians; they integrate care so care is delivered in the appropriate place by the appropriate care provider. Again, doubtless they make mistakes, but they are very good.

Furthermore, we expect our proposed Federal Health Board to monitor these healthplans carefully, obtaining patient satisfaction and outcomes data and ensuring they are responsive.

Having everyone get care in those types of organizations is better than just a single standalone doctor or leaving individuals to fend for themselves in “consumer driven health care.”

We need to be a little nuanced in our judgments instead of lumping everyone together as if there were no differences between Healthsouth and Kaiser or Group Health Cooperative.

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