Friday, August 21, 2009

Festering and Gangrenous

Here are some of my thoughts on the Health Care debate. This may be covered again in additional posts later, this one deals with this idea of 'Reform'.

Reform, what is it with the Dem's and reforming things that are pretty much working? Even the most pessimistic poll's out there show that a large majority of Americans arenot only insured but are happy with their Health Care. and I am talking about numbers above the 80% mark too which is a huge number. Yet, the Dem's want to toss out the whole kit; the bath water, the bath tub and the children in the tub too for that matter.

All to get at what? To do what precisely?

Oh they claim they want to get costs under control, to get more competition (how many times have you heard that spoken about the Public Option as a wedge aginst the private companies, in the name of competiton) into the current system. They want to reduce individual costs and make all Health Care better. But can this be true if the plan to get all of this is to throw it all out and start over from scratch?

Hardly, me thinks they progest too much!

If they wanted to address costs why are they not doing something to the cost generator? Costs here are that the Government is paying (meaning you and me Tax Payer). We are talking about the out of control Medicare and Medicaid costs. Nothing in the various Bill's proffered (including HR3200) even attempt to make a change within the Medicare/Medicaid system that would reduce the costs of these massive programs that are not outright cuts in service. That is except for electronic medical records provisions but they could do that now without this massive (1018 page) Bill. So, what's up really?

If they wanted to address costs to individuals why did they not then include even modest Tort Reform measures in this Bill (and they are not even talking about this in the three Senate Bills)? No, no I am not for granting Doctors blanket immunity, but they need some kind of protection from tthe many Land Sharks out there that eat Doctors for lunch, Dinner and Midrats too (can you say John Edwards?). Yes they need to be punished for mistakes that they make but limiting punitive damages and instituting Looser Pay would go a long way to filtering out the nuisance lawsuits which tend to make Doctors practice defensive medicine (perscribing Lab's and Tests just to cover their Butkus). I guess the Trial Lawyers Association checks have cleared?

They could address the competition issue by simply allowing Health Insurance business to operate accross state lines. Increasing the insurance pool allows an Insurance company to sell into a better mix of policy holders thereyby driving down their costs. Let's take the sad state of affairs in Pennsylvania, where the State and more importantly the Federal SEC has failed to stop the merger and acquisition activity within the Health Care business segment. Now we have just a few Health Care Insurance underwritters operating within the state. Unfortunately for us living here, that pool of policy holders is on average very old. PA has the 2nd oldest population in the country (only Florida has an older population) and that means for anyone underwriting health insurance, large costs. Now, if these few companies could sell policies into a larger pool OUTSIDE the state where they could dilute this pool with young folk, they will be able to run down their costs to everyone. This is not rocket science.

What about this 'Public Option', yeah I think we need something that is there as the 'safety net' to cover the very poor and those that fall through all the cracks. There should be something that on could subscribe to that would cover very BASIC health care ONLY. This should be something that is the bottom floor and it should not be an alternative to or compete with the Private sector. This should be something that is used only as a last resort instead of going to the Emergency Room.

I don't know what to do with Medicare or Medicaid, I have to study them some before I can say anything cogent, I do know that they are out of control and like any Government program they will consume everything it its path unless it is reined in. HR3200 and everything being contemplated by the Senatedoes nothing to help in this area.

Sorry, this is not the change we were looking for.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

I'm really pessimistic about EVER seeing any sort of tort reform, specifically because of both the trial lawyers lobby and the fact that so many congresscritters are members of the bar, as well.

And... just as I get ready to be FORCED into Medicare (I have NO choice), along comes Big Brother with his meat axe to whack the Hell out of the program. Oh, yeah...hopenchange. Meh.

Bag Blog said...

I try to comment on the health care reform, but I end up spitting and slobbering on the computer.

JimmyT said...

Buck, and without Term Limits there will be no way to pull them from office because of the dollars. We are screwed. I don't expect much from Medicare when I get up there, nor from Social Security. Sad.

Lou, I feel your pain. I foam at the mouth myself. Not pretty.

Reese said...

JimmyT, just make the leap of understanding that this whole thing is not about health, but about money and control.

The fix is easy: Re-unite the customer with the provider via high deductible insurance and HSAs. Also, your tort reform, especially "loser pays."

My inaugural comment. Congrats.

Bobby R sends.

JimmyT said...

Bobby, you are so right about the great disconnect all because of employer provided health insurance. I always wondered why we weren't allowed to simply buy Health Insurance like we do Life, you know; variable term plan, negotiated from a menu based on your age and lifestyle. It would be hard to decouple the two now because so many employers provide it as a "benefit".

"Looser Pay", in my world not only would the Looser Pay but the loosing lawyer would be put down too. Once we thin that heard out there will be fewer chasing ambulances.

BT: Jimmy T sends.