August 24, 2013

...Because Usually, Something Beats Nothing

Hatched by Dafydd

Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard claims Republicans have actually been working, in secret, on a health-insurance bill, a "big replacement package" for Obamacare.

While a large majority hates the Avoidable Scare Affordable Care Act, they might still be queasy to "replace it" with "nothing" (as liberals put it), with the status quo ante we had in 2008. The only argument the Left has in favor of Obamacare -- other than "Isn't it great that we're thiiiis close to government-run socialized medicine?" -- is to say, "Republicans just want to go back to the bad old days, when thirty million people died every year from a severe lack of government medicine!"

Sadly, such non-argument arguments still sway a disturbingly large percent of voters. But if the GOP can produce an understandable, believable plan by early 2014, one that resolves the main problems (rightly or wrongly) perceived prior to Obamacare, it might dramatically improve Republican chances in the midterm election and subsequent insurance wars.

We'll see what they come up with, but I'm hopeful: As a good-faith start, I woud like to see the following problems addressed:

  • Insurance portability from job to job -- Probably the biggest fear is that when an employee is laid off (in a bad economy like this), and he suddenly loses his health insurance too, just when he doesn't have the money to buy private insurance.
  • Pre-existing conditions -- If that's not addressed, more and more Americans will find themselves shoved completely out of the insurance regime. That would be disaster. Maybe some combination of phasing in pre-existing condition coverage and implementing "assigned risk" pools similar to those for bad drivers.
  • Insurance-plan choice -- All we are saying... is give Capitalism a chance! Stop the federales and state bureaucrats from throwing roadblocks and rent-seekers in between sellers and buyers.
  • Tort reform of medical malpractice and other health-related litigation -- This is vital to reduce the overall cost of health care. Get rid of the bogus lawsuits, the high-paid "expert" witnesses (who say whatever their plaintiff bosses tell them to say), defendants going bankrupt even when they win the lawsuit, threats against medical device manufacturers, and the skyrocketing med-mal insurance premiums, and you'll have a much cheaper health-care system. That helps everybody (except trial lawyers).
  • And the rational but problematical insurance rejection by young adults -- Offer incentives (both carrot and stick) that make it financially attractive for the young to buy some kind of high-deductable catastrophic care coupled with a medical savings account. As they age, they'll probably want more expensive and inclusive coverage.

I would love to see something like this; it would really help both those who currently have insurance and also those who don't, and who worry what might happen if they're injuried skiing or contract a devastating disease even at a young age. And when we address those issues -- which we can do piecemeal, one "issue" at a time -- that will virtually eliminate pressure to vote for a one-size-fits-none comprehensive health-care boondoggle, like Obamacare.

Then we can repeal that Obamunist monstrosity, and everybody will feel more secure. Everybody but dyed in the wool socialists, that is.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 24, 2013, at the time of 2:18 AM


The following hissed in response by: mdgiles

On he subject of pre-existing conditions. Is the complaint that those with them can't get health insurance - because insurance companies are willing to cover anything , if you're willing to pay the premiums. Or is the complaint, that you can't get insurance at the same cost as someone who's completely healthy - which is along the line of demanding regular homeowners when your house is already on fire.

The above hissed in response by: mdgiles [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 24, 2013 9:27 AM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

1) Insurnace protability - I agree with your point, but your discription is faulty. "From job to job" is not the problem - you just change plans. The real problem is that your insurnace is tied to your employeer, while you, as a free individual, are not. Ergo, the solution would seem to be to get rid of employeer insurnace and have individuals, or private groups of individuals, buy insurnace.

2) Pre-exsitng conditions is a problem only if we allow individuals to go without insurnace. If everyone is required to have insurnace, much like car insurnace, then there is no pre-exisitng conditions issue.

3) Agreed.

4) The problem here is really tied to problems 1 and 2. There is no innate reason why health care costs should increase, except we require hospitals and other organizations to provide medical treatment for people who don't have proper insurance. Also as medicare shortpays doctors, they cost shift to those who will pay the freight, forcing more and more people out of the insurance system.

The answer would be to require everyone to buy insurnace. This should be a very basic catatrophic plan. Let them buy from any insurance company they wish. Alternately the goverment could assmeble random groups of individuals in each state and have insurance companies "bid" to cover them. That would of course mean having the government, inefficient and bloated, involved.

An alternate solution would be a foundational system. Each year medical institution "bid" to provide coverage. The money they are paid by the government is put into a trust fund, invested, and the interest from that fund goes to providing health care for a set number of people. For exmaple, Our Sister's of Mercy hospitol is given $4 billion endowment from the feds. In exchange, they agree to provide free medical treatment in perpituity for 40,000 residents of their city. Over time, and with on-going investments, more and more medical care is being provided for free, paid for by investment income. This would put downward pressure on prices and costs for eveyone else. Overtime, a long time, everyone is covered, with little, if any additional expenditures by the goverment.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 29, 2013 12:24 PM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

Sheesh, that was spelling challenged. Sorry about that. Must be typing a bit faster than I'm thinking.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 29, 2013 2:34 PM

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