IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden featured in Baltimore Business Journal

Inside the Reform Debate:
Complexity, cost concern local insurers

by Elizabeth Heubeck, Contributor
Baltimore Business Journal
Friday, July 24, 2009

If Scott Golden were a gambling man, he wouldn’t bet on the U.S. government creating a federally-run universal health care system.

“I think Obama is using that as a threat so that the insurance carriers will step up and put in their own price controls,” said Golden, co-founder of the Gaithersburg-based health benefits consulting firm Golden & Cohen.

Given this scenario, Golden envisions insurance carriers saving money by “spending less, giving less to brokers, or requiring that subscribers pay more.” Ultimately, Golden believes, brokers like him will make less money.

Why not a government-sponsored program, then?

In general, the insurance industry opposes a government-funded public health plan option that’s under consideration. The Association of Health Insurance Advisors, an industry advocacy group, has warned its members that the proposed health care reform plan will cripple private health insurers’ ability to compete against a public option.

“The federal government’s current program — Medicare — is scheduled to be broke by 2017. They’d have to figure out how to make it solvent. I think you’d get a really stripped-down program if it were [solvent],” Golden said.

And cost aside, he sees complexity as another concern: “As it is, people don’t understand Medicare.” His parting words on the subject? “Good luck,” Golden said.

Read the entire article here.