Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Health Care Reform Is Easy: Politics Is Hard

Health Reform, some ideas but not all:

Eliminate employer tax deduction for employee health insurance benefits

Allow the sale of nationally approved health insurance policies in all states

Establish a low cost, minimum benefit national policy, such as a catastrophic insurance policy, that overrides all state insurance minimum benefit requirements

Reestablish Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP as a medical insurance voucher system, similar to the FOOD Stamp program, for the purchase of private health insurance

Increase the number of medical school, nursing school and doctor assistant yearly graduates

Allow state licensed medical professionals to work in all states without need of relicensing

Allow many more foreign medical school graduates to practice medicine in the US

Remove antitrust exemption for insurance companies

And others that will increase insurance and medical provider competition, increase the number of medical providers, and put the responsibility for purchasing, price negotiating and paying for health insurance directly in the hands of the consumer

Politics, some observations but not all:

Do not do anything that will jeopardize insurance industry dollar contributions for Congressional reelections

Do not do anything that will risk reelection

Eliminate provisions that upset interest groups

Include provisions to increase federal government control of medicine and health

Include a government benefit program

Eliminate all risk pricing of health insurance policies

Mandate expensive required benefits for all health insurance policies

Make any compromises necessary to get Congressional holdout votes

Do not include provisions that will lower the cost of health care or health care insurance for the consumer

Include provisions that will increase federal government expenditures

And other provisions that most people cannot even imagine

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