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Case study: health care debate reaches Case campus

Ross Wasserstrom

Issue date: 9/4/09 Section: News
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As the health care debate in Congress picks up steam again this week, several members of the CWRU community are preparing for what they expect to be huge changes coming in the near future.

Although 80% of Americans currently have at least one form of health insurance, there are approximately forty million people still living without any coverage at all. While this has been the case in America for a number of years, the projected costs over the next decade without reform of any kind could render the current system ineffective.

The cost of caring for the uninsured, as well as the underinsured, often falls on government subsidies and charitable donations to hospitals, but as more people qualify for Medicare in the near future the costs are expected to inflate beyond sustainability. While the Senate is debating ways to pay for any reform, it is becoming increasingly clear that few groups will come out of reform paying less than they are now.

"Regardless of the reform that actually passes, the government will need to raise significant amounts of new funding," said Professor Joseph White, an expert in public health policy here at Case.

"This can be done from a variety of sources: new enrollees will probably have to pay, taxes on the wealthy, more efficient payments to Medicare and private insurers," he said. "There are several options the Senate is considering to afford this reform, but essentially it may be more of a redistribution of costs."

Many experts, including White, believe that while there is enough health care in America already, some people get disproportionate access to it while others have none at all. While there are many competing ideas about how to revise health care, one is to limit untaxed health benefits. "With employer-financed health care as it is now, some people get…valuable health care plans as part of their benefits packages," said White. "This in-kind benefit avoids taxation, which means less revenue for the government to spend subsidizing health insurance for those who cannot afford it."
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In This Issue

News

  • A conversation with: Duwain Pinder, president of USG
  • An open letter from Sigma Nu president John Horton
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case School of Medicine ranked No. 1 in Ohio
  • Case study: health care debate reaches Case campus
  • Case Western undergrad program ranked No.41 in the nation; No.1 in Ohio
  • Click to see some fall recruitment photos!
  • Fire sweeps through Sigma Nu fraternity house
  • See our top stories in photos!
  • USG Briefs
  • What is financial literacy and what does it mean for me?

Sports

  • Fantasy Focus

Fun Page

  • crossword solution
  • Killer Sudoku Solution
  • Maze Solution

Opinion

  • Editorial: UHS, while decent, has room for improvement
  • Latin American metropolis an unexpected hub for Americans
  • Red, White, and Skewed
  • State your case photos: what is your favorite kind of weather?
  • The Seniority Report

Focus

  • Cleveland Museum of Art's new East Wing provides expansive collection of modern, classic artwork
  • Eating well and inexpensively still possible despite economic recession
  • Hitting the Spot: Robert Francis
  • Indie band Ra Ra Riot prep for Grog Shop
  • Inglourious Basterds builds cinematic glory out of historical revisionism, ultra violence
  • The Buzz
  • Yo La Tengo offer masterful collection

Cross Country

  • Assistant coach keeps the fun in running
  • Cross country goes young for first meet

Football

  • Football Gameday

Sex and Dating

  • Risky business

Soccer

  • Hiram tops men's soccer
  • Spartans gain momentum, but can't roll to win in opener

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Caroline Garber

Worst Case Scenario

  • The Worst Case Scenario
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