Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Health Care Fiasco

Our Betters in DC have demonstrated total cluelessness with regards to pretty much everything except self-enrichment.

I am against a nationalized health care system. Why? Because every example on the planet is a failure, yielding services that Americans will not accept, with quality beneath that which we are accustomed, and saddling the citizens with an ever-increasing oppressive cost. At the same time, the healthcare industry that has produced so many innovations will likely wilt due to regulation. There can not be a poorer decision than to nationalize health care.

President Obama and his cronies in DC are willing to sacrifice the health care enjoyed by 85% of the population in order to provide inferior heath care to the 15%* of the population that is uninsured. He is willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. Why he and his cronies are willing to do this is inexplicable.

(*Bear in mind the 15% is President Obama's number and is the maximum. Other sources claim a lower number.)

Now, indeed there are some problems with the way things are:

1. healthcare is very expensive
2. premiums are increasing a shocking amount every year.

While these statements are indisputable, the president hasn't told us why either of these things are true. And neither has the Opposition. Why is this? This is the most basic analysis imaginable. Again, the behavior of our representatives is inexplicable.

But instead of analyzing the problem and proposing solutions, President Obama's solution is to create a nationalized system that's a regulatory mess. He proposes adding 50 new agencies to help manage healthcare. None of these agency workers are doctors seeing patients, nurses making the rounds, or ER personnel saving lives. They are bureaucrats charged with regulating the health care process. Do you really think that somehow they are going to free doctors and nurses from the chains of oppression and allow health care to happen with some amazing efficiency? Is the health care community so stupid that a group of regulators can somehow make them more efficient? Hardly.

President Obama's health care plan really makes no sense at all.

Instead of a nationalized health care plan, how about some tweaks to the current system.

I came up with version 1.0 (alpha) while mowing:

1. Somebody designs a minimal reasonable health policy.

2. Insurance companies must offer this plan to all citizens.

3. Insurance companies may not deny coverage for this plan.

4. Insurance companies may not charge more than X% of a family's annual income for this plan.

5. Insurance companies may charge less than X% however.

6. Insurance companies may offer other plans at their discretion including those with lesser or greater coverage for whatever prices they deem appropriate.

7. Insurance companies that try to drive low-paying families onto competing insurers get fined heavily.

8. Individuals without 'continuous coverage' have a three month waiting period before they become eligible for any benefits. This is to prevent people from not paying premiums until they want services.

9. Participation is voluntary.

10. People who opt out and get hurt bear the brunt of hospital bills. So sorry for your poor planning and decision making.

11. Hospitals must charge individuals the same prices they charge insurance companies.

Where X is selected to yield a reasonable long term profit for the insurers. X becomes a political football, but there's always a political football. The wealthy end up subsidizing the poor, but they always do.

This addresses the issues I raised previously. Everyone has health care within their reach, though they may have to make choices. And the price of the standard health care can't increased exponentially because it is fixed at X% by law.

Barring an actual analysis of the issue, a proposal such as this seems like it will do the most while harming the least. It allows insurers to do what they need to do, and doesn't incur the bloat of an army of government regulators.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you'll have a chance to rethink your opposition to universal healthcare. As a practitioner in the system to your North, you should be aware that the ER as a safety net for those who do not have insurance is the most expensive way to deliver health care. The USA does not lead the world in healthcare, in terms of innovations or outcome measures. It does have the dubious honor of being the only first world, developed country without universal healthcare. The compromise that is the Affordable Care Act is compromise that was a function of the conservative right blocking single payor insurance. The healthcare lobby in America is heavily funded and extremely powerful. It is NOT about preserving this "premier healthcare system" that existed in the USA. It's about maintains the status quo (over 40% of every healthcare dollar spent on the administration of the system, NOT in delivery of healthcare to the American people).

    I hope you're smart enough to look beyond the rhetoric.

    Nice sight, by the way :)