Visit the Change.gov website to submit your ideas on healthcare reform as the new Obama-Biden administration prepares for their inauguration on January 20, 2009. Tom Daschle will serve as Secretary of Health & Human Services and is encouraging the nation to share their healthcare experiences and suggestions to improve and reform healthcare in the U.S.
A key feature of the plan is making health insurance coverage possible for all Americans using the existing network of insurers and providers. The plan relies on tax credits for small businesses and eligible individuals to help pay the cost of health insurance premiums. Also, large employers which do not offer health insurance benefits would be required to contribute a percentage of their payroll toward the cost of healthcare for their employees.
Insurance companies would be required to cover pre-existing conditions and the insurance market will be reformed to eliminate anti-competitive practices, including the creation of a National Health Insurance Exchange with a variety of affordable health insurance options. Investments in health information technology [Health IT] will be made to encourage e-prescribing and electronic recordkeeping to reduce the incidence of medical errors and encourage the portability of health information.
The plan would also promote the use of generic drugs through increased substitution rates for higher cost brand names where feasible and prevent lawsuits which delay or block competition from generics. Other areas of focus include required coverage of preventive medicine services such as cancer screenings and increased funding for state and local governments to prepare for bio-terrorism and natural disasters.
Below are links to new ETF Innovators [ETFI] healthcare indexes and ETF ideas which are poised to benefit from the pending healthcare reform:
Global Health IT: A small and mid-cap index of companies which provide e-prescribing and healthcare information systems to reduce medical errors and improve health outcomes through the application of technology, including companies such as Allscripts-Misys (MDRX), Cerner (CERN), and Eclipsys (ECLP).
Global Healthcare Cost Containment: Includes generic drug and product companies such as Teva Pharma (TEVA) and Perrigo (PRGO) as well as pharmacy benefit managers such as MedcoHealth Solutions (MHS) and Express Scripts (ESRX) which share a common theme of promoting the use of generic equivalents to lower healthcare costs.
Preventive Medicine: Vaccine makers such as Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) could benefit from increased government sales of its bio-defense products such as BioThrax while diagnostics and clinical lab services companies such as Genomic Health (GHDX), Sequenom (SQNM), and Genoptix (GXDX) are set to experience increased demand for diagnostic screening tests and lab services to guide treatment for complex diseases such as cancer.
Cosmetic & Reconstructive Medicine [CRM]: The CRM Index includes stem cell and regenerative medicine companies which are poised to benefit from increased spending on scientific research, including companies such as Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR), Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX), RTI Biologics (RTIX), Integra LifeSciences (IART), CryoLife (CRY), StemCells (STEM), Geron (GERN), and Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM).