Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Take On Health Care Reform

I believe health care and insurance "reform" is a lot more simple than a 46 minute Presidential address before a Joint Session of Congress, in the 29th speech on the subject in the past 6 1/2 months.

As an "Average Joe" (but not a plumber) I would like to present my simple outline for what I believe should be done in a logical reform of our health care and insurance system.

We should not require all Americans to purchase insurance. This is a free nation of free people, and any absolute such as this "requirement" would be a huge infringement upon individual liberties. Having said that - those who choose not to cover themselves would be held responsible for any and all expenses incurred due to medical need, emergency or otherwise, therefore creating a fair implication of personal responsibility.

We should all be more than willing to come together as a nation and reform health insurance. I am even open to the idea of offering a program subsidized by the government through tax deductions or vouchers, but those deductions or vouchers would be used to pay for a policy held with a private insurance company, thus avoiding any government "panels" or "death squads."

There would, of course, need to be stringent eligibility requirements placed on such a program. However, there is no reason any American should be without the opportunity to receive quality medical treatment at a fair price, but for the government to become involved there must be some need beyond personal budget mismanagement or irresponsibility. Loss of work through no fault of the individual, as an example, is one reason a voucher system would be a good idea.

Additionally, this government involvement should be considered possible ONLY after the government proves that it can fiscally manage the health insurance it already offers; Medicare and Medicaid, and The Veterans Administration. Until then, and while working out the poor management within the government systems, we should begin reform with deregulation, creating the allowance for interstate sale of medical insurance.

We should institute solid tort reform, including the ability for judges to impose court and legal fees on nuisance cases.
Furthermore, government can impose stringent regulatory statutes over blatant profiteering.

Finally, we should absolutely break down the insurance companies' current stance on preexisting conditions. A person should not be denied care because of an illness over which they have no control, and the government subsidy system should not become a backstop for these situations. Corporations are indeed entitled to a profit, but there is an interest of good ethical and humane behavior to be considered.

In closing, any reform being considered does not have to happen in one swift step. There is a responsible way to reform the system we have. Each step taken in the process should be analyzed carefully. This would help to ensure that each next step is a growth upon the previous changes.

As always, comments are welcome.


j summ said...

i 110% agree with your first statement. if we cannot compel everyone to stand and place their hand over their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, not burn the flag, or spit on our soldiers, or even vote, then there should be no requirement to buy insurance.

Soloman said...

j summ - all of the issues you present are interesting points that do prove we are a free nation.

I'll live with flag burning and non-voters, I've even chosen not to vote in the past. Freedom gives us these choices.

Spitting on Soldiers, though.. that should be a jail-worthy offense, if it is not already.

Mikki said...

Beautifully said!! I agree with everything you've pointed out here. Why can't the heads of our nation have as much sense?

Soloman said...

Mikki - follow the money and the sense of entitlement, and you'll find a big pile of common sense just outside the door, wasting away from lack of use.

RightKlik said...

Health care would be immediately affordable for an additional 12 million people if Congress would strike down laws that prevent people from buying insurance from other states. Cost: Zero dollars. Read about it in the WSJ.

Soloman said...

RK - thanks for the link, I'll be reading it tonight. Imagine if only Progressives could understand a free market trumps Marxism? With all their youthful exuberance, they might actually be useful?!


Geoff said...

Pre-existing conditions are often beyond someone's control. They may be relatively inexpensive to manage or they may be quite costly. If insurance companies are required to cover them (a state issue, not federal) then they will have to recover the cost in premiums somewhere. If they can only get part of the cost through the insured's premiums, they will have to get it from the rest of us. That could be through higher premiums or through taxes that cover subsidies for premiums.
Insurance companies can't manufacture money to cover liabilities. They have to collect it in premiums or get it through profitable investment of reserves.

Soloman said...

Geoff - thanks for your thoughts.

I understand and agree with your first statement - that pre-existing conditions are often beyond someone's control, which is why I do take issue with people being excluded from coverage because of them. And yes, they may be costly.

However, when CEOs of these insurance companies are making millions annually, I have trouble being compassionate with the needs of the insurance company.

I know it's a risk/reward business, but those rewards are, IMHO, a bit excessive - especially when we're dealing with a business that revolves around (literally) humans living or not living. I guess that's the "compassionate conservative" in me showing.

And I'm just one man, and this is just my opinion. Maybe the government can backstop these situations...

Generally speaking, though - I believe I'm much more reasonable in my ideas than what we're seeing out of DC.

TheLibraryClerk said...

Anyone who believes in death panels is an idiot.

Single-payer or a system closely resembling Germany is the way to go.

I don't have time for heartless Conservatives.

Soloman said...

I must say, I'd expect something a bit more thoughtful from a "Library Clerk," especially since libraries are places one might find information and an education beyond spouting progressive anger.

I don't know where you get that I believe in death panels, or why you might think I'm heartless. I'm really a very nice guy and my ideas are well thought out, and I actually put forward ideas that avoid the 'death panel' idea. Maybe you don't read much at the library?

My ideas may not fit your ideology, but having looked at your blog and gauging by the depth of your comment, I'd say your ideology is due to youth and lack of understanding about what happens in the real world.

Come back in 15 years and let me know how those high taxes are working out for you.