In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare, I was talking with a friend online and we were discussing said healthcare bill. One of the most frustrating things about this entire debate is how the 2,700-page bill has been obscured by lawyers who have complicated something that should be straightforward. The fact is, politicians have purposefully convoluted the issue so they can come in with their big-government heavy-handedness to take it all over.
In the process of our conversation, a real healthcare reform law was conceptualized. I asked my friend if she would send me the list she created for reprinting here. There are four ideas for reform and the bill that would result from these ideas would fit within Herman Cain’s suggestion that all legislation should be no more than three pages.
1) Tort reform: This would include enacting “loser pays” laws and eliminating the punitive damages from malpractice lawsuits. It would also eliminate coverage regulations. This would dramatically drop the cost of malpractice insurance premiums for practitioners and eliminate the current need to routinely test for rare conditions merely to reduce liability in case of a malpractice suit.
2) Make insurance premiums and medical savings accounts tax exempt for individuals: The would create an incentive for people to individually go out and shop around for their own health insurance. This severs health insurance from the employer and makes it portable. This takes away the argument from the Left that people get thrown out of their health insurance when they lose their jobs. It also is an incentive for people to look at the cost of the product they are getting. If they have to pay out of their own pocket, they will look at the price tag more carefully. Additionally, this will inspire more competition amongst insurance companies, and will thus lower the price, making it more affordable for people of lower incomes.
3) Allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines: This is another way to infuse competition into the healthcare market. By allowing people to buy from companies in different states, it creates more of an incentive for companies to keep their prices lower, because now the consumer has more buying options.
4) Make healthcare savings accounts and flexible spending accounts available to everyone: This would further engender the return of the fee-for-service mentality for patients and practitioners, as well as eliminating a significant amount of overhead for practitioners—namely having to designate so many resources to dealing with insurance companies. This would also encourage increased availability of major medical policies to cover catastrophic events. This is primarily what insurance is supposed to be for, so let’s give people more of an incentive to use it for that reason.
These actual suggestions fit within one page, and I’m sure that the legislators would have to expound out on some of this, but I doubt it would be more than three to five pages. And it is simple enough for the layperson to understand, most certainly because it was created and hammered out by laypersons. Healthcare reform does not have to be complicated out of the realm of the people as are so many political issues. Politicians muddy up the waters in an attempt to make us throw our hands up in the air and then let them do whatever they want without having to explain themselves. When the Speaker of the House of Representatives says, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy” you know they are trying to put something over on you.
Thus, I have outlined here ideas for real healthcare reform. No complicated legalese, no Louisiana Purchase, no Cornhusker Kickback, no nationalization, not even a smoke-filled room in sight. That’s only because I’m in New York and Nanny Bloomberg has outlawed smoking.
Special thanks to Cathy York aka @photog357