Jun 19 2009

A Centrist Plan For Overhauling Access To Quality Health Care

Published by at 12:50 pm under All General Discussions,Obamacare

There seems to be some interesting developments arising from a group of Senate centrists who want to increase access to health care, but who also want to protect our medical and insurance private sector and who oppose a government run plan (geez, look at how good the government is doing  fixing the job market!).

First is this from Ezra Klein at WaPo:

Sources say that it’s a major scale-back of the outline they had before. Specifically, subsidies have dropped from 400 percent of the poverty line to 300 percent. Medicaid eligibility has been tightened to 133 percent of poverty for children and pregnant women and 100 percent of poverty for parents and childless adults. The plans being offered in the exchange have seen their actuarial values sharply lowered.

Beyond the changes, this is also the clearest look we’ve had at the specific policies being considered. There’s a fairly strong individual mandate, albeit with exemptions for those beneath the poverty line, those who would have to spend more than 15 percent of income for a plan, and undocumented workers.

Emphasis mine. Clearly we have some more work to do. There is NO reason for taxpaying Americans to support undocumented workers. None. But once this silliness is removed this plan could actually be successful. More from WaPo:

A draft proposal in the Senate to overhaul the nation’s health-care system would require most people to buy health insurance, authorize an expansion of Medicaid coverage and create consumer-owned cooperative plans instead of the government coverage that President Obama is seeking.

The absence of a “public option” marks perhaps the most significant omission. Obama and many Democrats had sought a public option to ensure affordable, universal coverage, but as many as 10 Senate Democrats have protested the idea as unfair to private insurers. In its place, the draft circulated yesterday outlines a co-op approach modeled after rural electricity and telecom providers, subject to government oversight and funded with federal seed money.

Sadly ironic. The ‘cooperative’ idea was the cornerstone of the Bush proposals for years, ignored by the partisans left and right. As were many excellent aspects of the Bush proposals:

Major changes to the health insurance markets through the establishment of broader associa tion health plans, state-based health insurance pools, and interstate competition among health insurance plans

He also favors the enactment of patients’ rights legislation that would facilitate access to specialists and pro mote information technology to streamline medi cal records and reduce errors, as well as new initiatives to combat the unresolved problems of waste, fraud, and abuse that continue to plague the giant Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The biggest barrier is the cost of small company and individual policies. The biggest waste of money is on frivolous laws suits, malpractice insurance to defend against frivolous lawsuits and massive CYA testing to defend against frivolous lawsuits. The largest threat to healthcare are the trial lawyers like John Edwards, who wrongfully sued whole segments of specialists out of business, leaving the population without critical care givers.

The right answer must include setting up malpractice courts where the legal decisions come from knowledgeable juries, judges and lawyers – not idiots like John Edwards who made himself rich and then proceeded to sleep around at his leisure on our dime.

Any plan that relies on the bumbling government to manage health care means the destruction of ‘quality’ health care, replaced by rationed incompetence (which not surprisingly cannot be sued in courts for malpractice).

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “A Centrist Plan For Overhauling Access To Quality Health Care”

  1. Frogg says:

    The problem I see with health care reform is that Obama seems dead set against tort reform. And, too, too many Dems are on the record as hinting that they want a “public option” because the goal is, of course, an eventual single payer system. On the other hand, as much as the public wants health care reform….they place “paying off the debt” as a bigger concern. The main conservative demand would be “no public option” which gives the big bad government a foothold it can grow upon. And, no one wants undocumented workers insured at taxpayer expense.

    Kent conrad’s co-op was a joke also because it has been reported that the co-op would be appointed by the government (which means it would be a political entity to do the bidding of whoever appoints them).

    I think, at the end of the day, centrists may take a look at Mitt Romney’s plan in MA, see what worked and didn’t, and make some fine tuning to that plan.

    But, the big battle will be between liberals who want to set a plan into action for eventual socialized medicine; and, conservatives who want to protect health care from the government and keep the “private market” as the main force. I’m not sure where the line for that compromise can be met.

  2. Frogg says:

    Daschle: Obama should dump public healthcare plan option

    ABC’s The Note reports:

    In an attempt at bipartisanship, three former majority leaders of the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole, offered their solution today to the biggest obstacle to achieving health care reform — a public option.

    “While I feel very strongly that consumers should have the choice of a national, Medicare-like plan, my colleagues do not. . . But we were concerned that the ongoing health reform debate is beginning to show signs of fracture on the public plan issue, so in order to advance the process of developing bipartisan legislation and to move it forward, it’s time to find consensus here,” Daschle said.

    In a blow to President Obama and many of his Democratic allies in the health care fight, the plan recommends that there be no federal public option, but rather state or regional public-sponsored networks that would compete with private health plans, according to the summary released today by the Bipartisan Policy Center.


  3. kathie says:

    Obama says that the plan the Republicans have is “silly”, we are passed the idea that giving people $2500 for a single or $5000 to a family in a tax rebate, or some other method to make insurance affordable. That idea has been around the block and is a silly idea. I’m beginning to really dislike this man. “Silly” who in the heck does he think he is? How dare he! This is what I mean by his psychology, the way he operates is thuggery.

  4. WWS says:

    To Obama, it’s all about the power to be gained by effectlively nationalizing 17% of the nation’s economy in one fell swoop. I think he actually believes his own fake numbers and doesn’t realize that the takeover he’s backing would truly destroy the American economy.

    And he doesn’t dare do anything that would offend the trial lawyers, do you know that behind the unions they’re the second biggest group of contributors to Obama and the DNC? They didn’t spend all that money just to get dissed.