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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Impact of Health Care Reform - Budget Reconciliation

April 27, 2009
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How Budget Reconcilation May Affect Health Care Reform

I just saw this post from Alan Katz discussing how President Obama is trying to use budget reconciliation to make it easier to enact health care reform.  This would basically mean that the Senate could pass legislation with fewer votes than would normally be required so that changes to the existing system would face less resistance. 

I'm not one to analyze the politics involved in this situation (I'll let Paul handle that) but there are some takeaways for those of us in the health care business, or anyone interested in how this reform plays out.

What if reconciliation is passed for health care reform?

    1. Major health insurance carriers are too large to be put out of business overnight. The changes can't be so sudden and dramatic that they would disrupt the business practices of major insurers.

    2. Other aspects of health insurance will be subject to major changes.  Tons of new opportunities will appear out of nowhere.

Once again, I'm not claiming to know what will happen.  I'm just giving some vague predictions.  That said, rapid change means that some of the systems we currently have in place will need to be adjusted.  Someone will make a lot of money off these adjustments. 

Who will be affected by health reform in the United States?How Budget Reconcilation May Affect Health Care Reform

While we can't predict exact what will be different for the healthcare industry, something will be different.  If you currently sell or use traditional insurance products, your bread and butter isn't going to be swiped out from under you right away, but the writing may be on the wall.

As a young adult with an entrepreneurial spirit, I think this is great news.  Anyone that is waiting for anew opportunity to arrive might not need to wait any longer.  Something will change and large companies are notoriously slow to adapt.

Everyone working in healthcare should start building some flexibility into their business.  You can't specifically prepare for the future (since you don't know what will happen) but you can create infrastructure that will support the change that will be required in the coming months and years.  The first companies to market with some new ideas will be at a huge advantage.

To me, this also means that we should all consider what we depend on to keep our careers afloat.  If you depend too heavily on selling one type of insurance or providing one type of service, consider what would happen if new legislation makes your one product obsolete.  Diversification has always made sense, but maybe now is the time to actually reflect that with your actions.

My view: Bring it on

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