Health Reform

November 2, 2009

Here is a simple plan for health care reform.

* Cover everyone. No exceptions. Citizens, Tourists, Immigrants. This is a
moral choice and one that there should be no argument about. If someone
collapsed on the hospital steps, you would not ask who he is or if he has
a pre-existing condition, you would do the right thing. Because everyone
is in the insurance pool, there is no need for a bureaucracy that examines
each and every one to figure out whether to deny coverage. It also avoids
much of the expense of surveillance to see who qualifies or if they have
an approved life-style.

* When everyone is covered, there is a simple way to pay for the program.
Give employers and small business a tax cut by eliminating their health care
responsibilities so they could become more competitive in the global
market. Payment from well graduated income taxes would cover the cost. Since the only
payment would be at tax time, there will be no objection to 'mandated'
coverage. The graduated tax is good for the economy since it tends to
level income distribution, and it damps down some of the obscene
compensation packages that have become so widely publicized. We would have
better financial stability. It puts a floor on poor people's income. Jesus
would approve.

* Keep government (and religion) out of the hospital. Do not second guess
the decision of doctors and their patients. Government would only
reimburse legitimate expenses. This is the kind of deregulation we need.

* Take sensible steps to reduce medical errors. They are a serious
problem. Electronic record keeping can, long run, save a lot and improve efficiency. 

* Negotiate to pay doctors fairly and well.  Because of niggardly (and
declining) payments for doctors, the current system will put patients at
risk The risk is that doctors, being poorly reimbursed, will be unwilling
to take on Medicare patients.

* Would this be more expensive than the current system? No. Other
countries are able to provide much better service at no more than half the
cost of the US system...with better outcomes. The Chamber of Commerce, a
right-wing zealot organization if ever there was one, complains about the
high cost of a government program, but what they are defending is the
corruption that makes US healthcare a money machine for the politically
well connected.

* The taxes required to pay for all this would certainly be less than the
insurance premiums that are now out of control. So even though higher
taxes could result, you would save. Vast insurance company bureaucracies would wither away.

We can be sure none of this will happen. Insurance companies, Pharma are
going to get truckloads of new cash, the system will be incredibly
complex, expenses will increase, the public will be poorly served, and
politicians will shrug. Thanks for that tea party goers.

The system is corrupt and dysfunctional and will, most
likely, will get worse. This is a but a symptom of a probable complete US collapse. We cannot expect any constructive solutions from Republicans.

The Health ‘Reform’ Bill in Congress Is Worse than Nothing (12/29/2009)  

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