Health Care Reform: The most hot-button issue these days! But when we say “Health Care Reform,” what do we mean, exactly?
If you’ve been listening to mainstream media outlets, government officials, Democratic politicians, and even some opponents to the Congress’ proposed Health Care bill, you might think
- Health Care Reform = The Administration/Congress’ proposed plan to overhaul the system
- Opponents of the Government’s proposed plan are “against Health Care Reform.”
I submit to you that neither of these statements is necessarily true.
Stay with me here…
Let me say something that might shock my friends, liberal and conservative. I am in favor of Health Care Reform!
I repeat: I am in favor of Health Care Reform!! The catch? I do not believe that the Congress’ plan, nor the President’s vision will result in true Heath Care Reform. For me, it’s not about the R and D, it’s about what will work. And if you know me, you know that I lean Libertarian anyway.
I asked my Tweeps this question: What would Health Care Reform mean to you? (Not the Government, but YOU)
Some people’s minds immediately jumped to the proposed plan by the congress/Obama administration, and understandably so! It’s the only plan that is getting any attention.
Ah! My lovely Libertarian-leaning friends. Now before you throw rotten tomatoes, “Libertarian” does not mean we don’t want to help people in need. On the contrary, most of us believe that it is OUR responsibility, not government’s, to help people who truly need it. But we have the free choice. OK, another can of worms; let’s just leave that one closed for now.
Others thought in terms of personal desires for their own health care.
Look at this last batch of answers. They are not sayingthey are for or against a specific plan, but what the result of true healthcare reform would be for THEM. I would venture to say that there is a representative sample of differing political ideologies. I am FOR all these things, too. And I would love to think that the government could take it over and give us all these things. However, I believe that when the government gets involved, it will seize control and never let go. That’s what it does, the nature of the beast. Can you name one entity that the government has stuck it’s hand into that has gotten cheaper? easier? more cost efficient? Less corrupt? Given more choices?
…still waiting… Cash for Clunkers anyone?
OK, let’s say there isn’t one (unless someone really pulls it out in the comments) You might ask, “Well, if you’re NOT for the so-called government option, what are you for?”
I’m so glad you asked! Here are a few things we could do tomorrow, without spending a dime, creating any more bureaucracies.
1. Tort Reform:
Let’s stop wasting millions on defensive medicine, malpractice insurance and frivolous lawsuits. Many doctors and nurses I talk to admit to practicing “CYA Medicine.” The malpractice insurance doctors have to pay is exorbitant, all because of the mere possibility that an outrageous verdict could be handed down. One idea is to create a panel of professionals (ie: doctors, insurance, lawyers) to create guidelines for settlements, and enact a “loser pays” system, where the loser of a malpractice suit must pay for all legal expenses. People would be sure they had a case before bringing a suit, that’s for sure.
But alas! Howard Dean, former DNC Chairman discloses the reason it is not there. Bad for the country? Ineffective? Politicians are principly against it? No, he says, “And the reason why tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everybody else they were taking on, and that is the plain and simple truth. Now, that’s the truth.” (source: CNS News. I looked for a mainstream media article about this, but surpirse: they didn’t cover it. You can see the video at the link.)
If we bring down the cost of malpractice insurance, health care costs will come down, and more doctors will enter and stay in practice! Increase supply of doctors = cost reduction
2. De-link insurance from the employer, open inter-state commerce, and put the purchasing decisions in the hands of the ultimate consumer.
Employers could still contribute money toward a health plan, but the CONSUMER CHOOSES! And they keep their coverage when they change jobs, virtually eliminating the “pre-existing condition” problem. Right now, two groups of executives decide your health care: the employing company, and insurance company. Do they have your best interest at heart? Your employer will just subtract what they spend on your health benefits from your salary, then tell you that your salary is $X.00 PLUS this great health insurance deal. Yeah, and you really got $4500 from your clunker trade-in, too!
Along with this, allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines. Create real competition, and there will always be a company willing to undercut the others for your business. (Think Geico and the car insurance companies, “Here’s how much you can save with Geico”) The self employed won’t be left out on the cold, and can compete on a level playing field when insurance shopping.
THIS is real choice! Not a subsidized “government option.”
3. Give doctors tax breaks for working in free clinics, as if they were donating to charity.
Allow the creation of non-profit (NON government subsidized) community co-ops where people could donate small sums to subsidize those who need help. (Think Kiva.org, except not “loans” but donations) In our electric co-op, we pay an extra $1 a month to help those in need, but there are thousands of people all giving $1. It is our choice to give… and it’s not being run by a corrupt, inefficient government. I would gladly give a few extra dollars a month so someone else can have health care. Would you?
I am also not opposed to a safety net system, such as Medicaid, only let’s clean it up! Seriously, the level of corruption in our government (on both sides) is stunning.
The fact is that I am not heartless or greedy. I do not love insurance companies. I am not rich. (we have planned and worked hard for over 12 years to work toward what we have, and we don’t have much excess) I believe in truly helping people, not making them dependent on a third party.
And before we turn our very livelihoods to an entity that has not proven the ability to effectively run anything, with a trillion dollar price-tag, can we try these options with a price-tag of $0.00, and are virtually guaranteed some level of success?
I know there are a variety of opinions on this subject, and I’d love for you to respectfully comment, agreeing or disagreeing with me. However, if the comments fall into name calling and broad generalizations of certain groups. If it can’t remain civil, I’ll have to close the comments. I reserve the right to moderate comments for any reason, although I’ll try to include them all.