Aug 10 2009

A Reasonable Plan Forward For Healthcare

Published by at 12:54 pm under All General Discussions,Obamacare

Update: As usual some of those stupid “true conservative” hot heads on AM Radio came out today and did their usual smart mouth, counter productive, ego-stroking schtick. Specifically, the moronic Sean Hannity was on his show today insulting the very people this nation needs to stop the Obamacare government takeover of our health care system (which is why I have no reservations returning the favor). Hannity has got to be the symbol of the “Great American Eff-Up”. When talking about the blue dog democrats who were instrumental in stopping the DC liberals this rolling conservative disaster called them “lap dogs”, which I am sure made his ego feel bigger well beyond its natural capability, but also did more to push the centrist democrats back into the fold of Obama, Reid and Pelosi. Hannity’s self absorption is why the GOP will probably, in the end, snatch defeat once again from the jaws of victory. He is doing for Reagan coalition what the Clintons did for the democrat governing coalition in Congress back in 1993-1994. – end update.

I listened with interest this morning to AM Radio pondering the question of whether the GOP should simply plan to stall any health care reform or work to provide a reasonable path forward. As with most ‘either/or’ false choices the answer is ‘yes’ and ‘yes’.

Simply being a blockade to progress is the wrong answer which was the strategy the GOP used to lose their governing coalition and allow the liberal old dogs in Congress to get into power in 2006 and 2008. Nature (and problems) abhor a vacuum. Leaving ‘nothing’ allows others to propose anything.

What the GOP should be doing is cultivating a centrist compromise that attracts a broad coalition of opposition to the radical liberal concept of a government option – which would consume and destroy all private health care options over time as the liberals have openly admitted many times. As everyone knows, the liberals want to destroy private health insurance and have it all run out of DC by bureaucrats. That is the path to ‘nothing’ and there is a broad and growing consensus in the country this option is not acceptable.  Rassmussen illustrates this fact quite nicely today:

Among those who have insurance, 53% fear the government more than insurance companies while 39% take the opposite view. Those without insurance fear the insurance companies more.

80+% of the country is insured. Most of the people who fear government rationing are the remaining World War II generation and the retiring Baby Boomer generation – plus their immediate families. That is the largest, most politically active, richest and I would say most experienced element of the American electorate bar none. You lump that group together with a common goal of fixing health care without any hint of a government run system and you have the makings of one of the most powerful political forces this nation has seen since 9-11.

What the GOP should be doing is drawing the line in the sand on government intervention and then ALSO proposing the valid centrist option (with centrists who extend all the way to center left). If the GOP tries to dictate from the far right, they will fail and that vacuum will be filled with a mess.

The basic aspects of a centrist approach are this:

  1. A minimum universal coverage requirement: as with all sorts of insurance from homes to autos to disability, it is OK for the government to say insurance companies need to offer a common suite of low cost plans that cover check ups, preventive care, dentist, prescriptions emergency care, etc. One option could be a catastrophic plan that requires more out of pocket costs be born for the mundane services but covers large expenses. Basically this is the minimum all plans much offer – but it is not the only plans to be offered. From this minimum floor of options insurance plans can layer up all the options they want to offer for those who can pay.
  2. Tie insurance to the consumer, not the employer. Allow the employer to offer options and subsidize premiums, but do not tie the insurance to the job. Once in a plan the plan goes with the insured. This would allow the greatest choice of options (something everyone agrees would be nice to have) and eliminate pre-condition barriers.
  3. Allow for small businesses and individuals to buy into pools to spread the cost and lower premiums. Combined with 2 above this would allow a lot of people to gain access to quality health care.
  4. Feds must pay their bills. We the privately insured right now subsidize the cheap bastards in Congress who keep mandating services under various programs like Medicare but refuse to pay full cost. No unfunded mandates. If the government offers service they pay for them and stop forcing us to (which we will do under any damn plan proposed, even government run options).

These 4 simple goals, removed from any hint of a government run plan, would gain a lot of support. It won’t solve everything – no plan will. It won’t give power to DC as well, it will leave the decisions to consumers and their doctors.

There are lots of nice to haves we could add into this, but they tend to cause rifts. I am no fan of providing health care to illegal immigrants, but the GOP foiled all efforts to get illegals out from the underground economy. Leave that for the next round when there is a consensus. Same thing with Tort reform. I am all for it, most people are not.

Stop looking for perfection and agendas. Start looking for opportunities and consensus and build out from there. Get what you can get, leave the rest for later. If the Dems in DC had done this they would not have ignited the backlash.

Listen to the Seniors and their families and those 80+% with coverage who want fixes but not radical and dangerous ideas. Governing is the act of coming together over common ground. The first party that takes this approach on Health Care will be the one who wins big in 2010 and 2012.

22 responses so far

22 Responses to “A Reasonable Plan Forward For Healthcare”

  1. ivehadit says:

    What did barack obama win? He won the right, from OUR loan of power, to administer OUR government and command OUR troops for 4 years. Oh and to be faithful to OUR constitution.

    He did NOT win the right to rule over us or to change OUR constitution. His office is one of THREE which we have loaned power, the other two being Congress and the Supreme Court.

    Imho, he has covert hostility for this country…that is becoming more overt every day.

  2. MarkN says:

    Switch parties.? Did someone mention switch parties. That is what some blue dogs may well do. If they are conservative enough. How many I don’t know. My estimate is only 5 to 10. The rest of the blue dogs are center left who lie at being conservative. That is why they become lap dogs or yellow dogs. Because their hearts are truly left.

    As things stand now the center and the center right will need to choose between the far right and the far left. Unless a four party system can rise from the ashes of the coming wreck. There are just not enough people exactly in the middle and a little to the right of center to form a majority coalition. Eventually they will need to throw in with one end or another. The only other scenario I see is that the size of the right and the left shrink and the people migrate to the middle. That would reverse 40 years of history. Not impossible but improbable.

    This whole situation is just tailor made for Sarah Palin. I heard she had a radio deal in the works. She would be dynamite on the radio (better on TV and that could come later). She could replace Mark Levin, who does not belong on radio (maybe a think tank somewhere). Palin with 3-5 hours to herself would shut down the far left lunatic attacks against her with solid answers unfiltered by the state-run media. Palin unedited would be huge (not just in audience size) in changing her image especially with the moderates and center left politicos. She would be a big success. She has media talent. She does a better Tina Fey than Tina Fey does Tina Fey.

    Hannity can stay, he is not that bad on radio, at least he has is own style.

    Palin could unite the old Reagan coalition like no other and would have the credibility to soften the far right and even get the far right to drop some policy stands that they are effing-up.