Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conservative Health Care Reform

Several times in the last couple of weeks I have had liberals and Democrats snarl at me that conservatives have no ideas about health care and all Republicans do is say no. That is not true. To counter that erroneous belief, here is the essence of what conservatives and libertarians think should be the focus of health care reform.

1. Remove barriers to competition between insurance companies across state lines to reduce costs.
2. Stop the refusal of coverage for pre-existing conditions when changing insurers and prohibit exorbitant rate increases when serious illness develops.
3. Institute tort reform to reduce extorted settlements and defensive medicine which waste money and dramatically increase costs.
4. Require co-pays for all coverage so patients get involved in reducing the costs of their health care decisions.
5. Provide high deductible "pared down" plans for young people to significantly lower premiums for the major problem of uninsured.
6. Eliminate the massive fraud of government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, considered to be around $120 billion or more a year.
7. Give all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers.

These seven changes would reduce costs for health care by one half.

What Republicans and most Independents OPPOSE is abandoning the world's best health care system (adopting the failed system of socialist countries) simply because our system is not perfect, especially since most of the problems are government created. The reality is that no other nation has a system where 75% of the people are very happy with their health care, with another 10% somewhat happy. Only 15% of Americans are somewhat unhappy or very unhappy, and those are the ones who think that someone else should pay for their health care so they get it free. An example of the superiority of our system is the vastly better life expectancy of cancer patients. This applies to most other categories of serious illness as well and is why so many come here from other nations for treatment. The changes we make must not undermine the strengths of our current system.

However even after I provide this list of solutions I am often met with the insistent that I have not provided solutions because these are "unrealistic". That just shows how unlikely it is to ever get a bi-partisan bill, since Democrats reject out of hand any of the solutions that would reduce costs without a government bureaucrat being able to order the action. The democrat solutions are all about increasing the size and power of government. With that as the true goal, nothing that Republicans suggest in opposition to THAT goal will be accepted as reform.


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