Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fixing Health Care

After political crusades for "affordable housing" ended up ruining the housing market and much of the economy with it, many of the same politicians are now carrying on a crusade for "affordable health care." But what you can afford has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of producing anything. Refusing to pay those costs means that you are just not going to continue getting the same quantity and quality-- regardless of what any politician says or how well he says it.
Thomas Sowell

...the shame of it all is we could actually fix what's broken in health care without breaking what's working, and without creating a huge new entitlement program that will accelerate the bankruptcy of this country.
Rep. Paul Ryan

Despite its problems, the U.S. has the world's best health care system. The problems that do exist are there because of government intereference with the free market system. Reducing this interference is the key to "reform".
Purchasing health care insurance should be the same as purchasing a camera or a computer or even car insurance. It should be possible to compare, side by side, four or five different policies and choose one based on cost and needs. Again, that this can't be done is due to government restrictions, regulations and tax policy.
Some suggestions...

Scrap Medicare which is responsible for much of the high cost of our health care. Aside from the waste, fraud and abuse that even Democrats admit exists, it underpays doctors and hospitals increasing the cost for everyone else. It's basically a redistribution of wealth to the wealthiest group (seniors, mostly non-working) from everyone else (workers <65).

Eliminate the employer based tax break and replace it with a tax subsidy for all individuals purchasing health insurance. Start at say $10,000 ($12,000?, $15,000?) for low income earners, phasing out to zero at say the $200,000 income level. (The actual numbers to be determined).

Allow insurance policies to be purchased across state lines.

DO NOT mandate health insurance coverage. DO NOT mandate what coverage an individual may select.

To cover patients with pre-existing conditions, create a pool of money funded by insurance companies, much like businesses currently fund unemployment insurance. Insurers should be required to cover anyone who wants insurance and that pool will pay for those high risk individuals.

Serious health care reform cannot be achieved without tort reform. Create a tort review board comprised of medical experts - doctors, hospital administrators, insurers, patient advocates, even a lawyer or two. The board will be required to follow nationwide standards for determining the validity of lawsuits and the amounts of monetary awards dished out by juries.

No comments:

Post a Comment