Sunday, August 2, 2009

Health Care - Final Thoughts

Just a few final thoughts on Health Care before we move on:

First, let's briefly recap what "Health Care Reform" should consist of:

1) A Public Health Insurance Option, made available either though an
employer or through individual purchase. This option should be both
competitively priced and backed with the full tax and regulatory
power of the state;

2) Medicare Reform, based around a transition to HMO-style Managed
Care Plans and a gradual reduction in the eligibility age to 50;

3) Negotiation with the Pharmaceutical Industry for pricing on a par
with Canada and the UK;

4) Removal of Medicaid from the states, making it a fully federal program;

5) Medical Malpractice reform , removing malpractice from the courts and
the tort bar and replacing it with a system similar to that of
Workmen's Compensation.

Are we likely to get any of this? No.

Will the "reforms" being considered by Congress reduce either costs or
the number of uninsured? No.

Instead are we likely to wind up with both higher costs and fewer insured? Yes.


Because of purchased political influence.

As I've said before, if you can't offer Washington money, Washington can't
offer you anything. And when it comes to our Senators and Congresspeople,
they never met a cash-carrying lobbyist they didn't like.

And it's not just cynicism that makes me say this.

As I'm writing this, I'm watching a fascinating interview on PBS by
Bill Moyers with a interesting gentleman named Wendell Potter.

Mr. Potter was formerly a senior executive at Cigna, a leading
Health Insurer, and assisted in directing their lobbying efforts
on Capitol Hill. Cigna, of course, is one of the leading co-conspirators
in the effort to derail effective health care reform.

Mr. Potter's story is fascinating listening .. that's why I'm linking to it

It's a long interview ... about 40 minutes ... but if you are at all
concerned about the issue, it's well worth listening to.

Also a short essay from Bill Moyers:

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