24 comments

  1. Icarus says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that I neither have a solution to the health care problem, nor fully grasp all the complexities of the current system.

    I do know that the increasing expense of health care combined with an aging population is a real issue. I fear if we don’t come up with a real solution, we’re going to get Hillary Care as a result.

    A lot of my fellow Republicans like to pretend there is not a real problem, and that folks are just too cheap or lazy to purchase their own health insurance. I would suggest that that these people speak to anyone who is self-employed with pre-existing conditions, or has tried to fund insurance for a 60 year old parent.

    I’m not crazy about Rudy’s proposal, but I want to see us put our best ideas on the table.

  2. Federalist says:

    Follow the example set by Massachusetts. Hilary Care, Icarus,…come on. That was years ago,…and is admittedly a better system than we currently have.

  3. Bull, eliminating mandates is a solution in search of a problem. The problem with health insurance is not that some mandates make it a little more expensive.

    Eliminating mandates would be like eliminating air bags from new cars because they add to the cost. While it’s true that they add a little to the cost, I think we can agree that requiring new cars to have air bags and requiring health insurance policies to have some of these potentially lifesaving riders are both good things.

  4. rugby_fan says:

    “But many Republicans have turned queasy as Thompson has ousted part of his original brain trust and repeatedly delayed his official announcement, which is now planned for shortly after Labor Day, in the first two weeks of September.

    “Some are already saying a prospective Thompson run is a flop. ‘I just don

  5. Icarus says:

    Rugby,

    Those kinds of posts will get you shot over at RedState. You’re obviously a shill for (insert any other candidate here).

    The problem with Fred’s campaign right now is that when you don’t actually have a campaign, you don’t have people to manage the expectations. His got too high, too fast. They’re coming back to reality now. That said, he’s still got potential to capture the nomination, but he is going to have work for it.

    Back to topic, any idea what Fred’s health care policy is?

  6. Inside_Man says:

    Like Obama, Fred! is long on star power and short on details. I am surprised that Rudy actually has a plan, per his usual style I had assumed he would heal our health care woes by fiat.

    I think the real legacy of Iraq is this policy paralysis on domestic issues. The political climate is so roiling hot in partisan oneupsmanship that nothing is being done about serious domestic issues, for fear of the “other guy” getting a shred of the credit. Health policy especially is a victim to partisanship.

    Federal entitlements could reach 75% of the budget in 2030, hospitals like Grady operate at 104% of capacity on a good day, the respective public health agencies in metro have no plan at all to distribute emergency medications and supplies during a pandemic or mass casualty event, &e, just to name a few of the deficiencies in our health system.

    As with the General Assembly’s attempt to reform the CON law this year, the competing lobbies forestall any effort made to change, because so many powerful groups have an interest in the status quo. The issues are so complicated and intertwined, no lawmaker understands half of them and how one will affect the other if a change is made; the result is that initiative is ceded to the lobbies and associations who then make short work of paralyzing the process- this is what they are paid to do.

    Nothing significant will happen in the area of health reform until the system breaks down. Don’t think it’ll happen? Picture this: a mild pandemic or especially bad flu season. There are 16,000 hospital beds in this state. In the case of a pandemic, we need 400,000. What will be the reaction of an confused crowd (of people with insurance!) who all show up at the emergency room only to be told to take their loved ones home to die? That’s what we have to look forward to. Enjoy.

  7. John Konop says:

    The problem with healthcare is intellectual dishonesty on both sides.

    The truth is we have socialized medicine and it is bankrupting hospitals and driving healthcare cost out of control. And we have people making enough money for healthcare who think they are taking the risk and they are using tax payers and people who buy insurance as their emergency coverage.

    We need to make people buy healthcare coverage who can afford it like car insurance.

    We need to give employers an option to buy into the system lawmakers and public workers receive. We not pit private and public against each other.

    We need to end any exclusion from any policy private or public

    We need to motivate doctors and nurses on preventive care which would happen if we eliminated exclusions.

    We need to let nurse practitioners do low level health care service. We could promote experiments of using drug stores to lower cost instead of emergency rooms and they would make money of the shoppers.

    We need to automate the billing system which could save money.

    This is just a start!

  8. Bull Moose says:

    I would think, and call me crazy for suggesting this, but, I would think that if we could get all the parties at the table and open up a dialogue, we might be able to make some progress on a real comprehensive approach to more affordable health insurance.

    You have to have honest brokers at the table and yes, egos must be checked at the door.

    When will a political leader take the reigns and initiate such a dialogue?

    I’ve been suggesting it in Georgia and everyone says, “It’s too hard.” Well, if it’s too hard to even try, get out of office and let someone else give it a try.

  9. Doug Deal says:

    I will try my post again, I hope this doesn’t end up posting twice.

    I love the free market. In general, the free-er something is, the better it is, but for some things it does not work adequately.

    Basically, any system that has the bottom completely fall out for the losers is unworkable. Health care is this way, because unaffordable health insurance is effectively a death sentence for many people.

    What happens to society when a huge number of people have very little to lose? Yes, it would be nice if everyone was as capable as all of us are, but sadly not everyone is.

    Also, some people are saddled with financial deficiencies due to family issues. I went without health insurance until I graduated from college at 25. If I had come down with Leukemia, a broken leg, anything that required expensive medicines, and the like, my future could have been over, with me soaking in loan debt from college.

    I took a risk, and won.

    There has to be some form of “safety net” for this sort of thing. However, the free market has to be maintained as much as possible. This is where we have to be careful.

    My solution would be to decouple health insurance from the workplace. Each individual would have to get his own policy. To negate the tax advantages that businesses have over individuals, every dollar spent on non elective health care and medical insurance would be deductible from the first dollar spent (and should carry over if expenses exceed income for a single year).

    Further, indigent health care would be provided in the form of vouchers. The vouchers would have only minimum requirements for a qualified health plan, and the recipient could buy additional coverage out of their own pocket. There would be no Medicare or Medicaid, it would be a consumer driven voucher system.

    Coverage pools would have to aggregate people into units that do not consider medical history. Things used can be geography, age, smoking/drinking status, etc. The pools would have to generic enough to equalize risks over a large group of people to prevent companies from picking and choosing their customers on too fine of a basis.

    Pre-existing conditions would be covered by a phase in plan. All treatment in the first year for pre-existing conditions would be out of pocket, and over the course of a couple to 5 years would phase in to full coverage. This would stop people from being able to go without insurance until they finally get sick, then sign up and get coverage the second the check clears. Making that sort of choice has to have a penalty associated with it.

    Routine doctor visits will no longer be covered, but the cost will be controlled by allowing Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners to act as primary care providers.

    Medication will not be covered by a set co-pay, but will be a percentage of the cost of the drug. The consumer will then be encouraged to buy generics and shop around for the best price.

    Doctors and Hospitals will be required to give a good faith estimate for the cost of any services provided, except in the case of a life emergency, but will provide it with urgency as soon as reasonable.

    Patients will have the right to demand to buy their medication from their own pharmacist while in the hospital, and not get billed for $20 Tylenols and such.

    Finally, everyone will pay SOMETHING for their own health care. Insurance will not be a payment plan, but will be to cover unexpected or disastrous expenses. Until individual consumers can shop around like they do on care insurance, there is no driving force to keep costs down.

  10. Inside_Man says:

    The problem with trying to start a dialog among the various player is healthcare is that they have nothing to gain from working together, because of the way the current system is set up.

  11. Doug Deal says:

    Inside,

    Also, don’t forget that the Dems immediately characterize everything the Republicans try to do as trying to kill children to enrich corporations.

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