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Health Care Reform — Health Care Rationing

Editor’s note: This NYTimes article on the reforming the health care system and the allocation of resources is a must read. You must read it because at its essence it is about how health care systems are constructed. Resources are finite and therefore decisions that are tough, gut wrenching and economic realities are at the base of the national debate.

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In the current U.S. debate over health care reform, “rationing” has become a dirty word. Meeting last month with five governors, President Obama urged them to avoid using the term, apparently for fear of evoking the hostile response that sank the Clintons’ attempt to achieve reform. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published at the end of last year with the headline “Obama Will Ration Your Health Care,” Sally Pipes, C.E.O. of the conservative Pacific Research Institute, described how in Britain the national health service does not pay for drugs that are regarded as not offering good value for money, and added, “Americans will not put up with such limits, nor will our elected representatives.” And the Democratic chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus, told CNSNews in April, “There is no rationing of health care at all” in the proposed reform.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/magazine/19healthcare-t.html?pagewanted=1&ref=health

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July 22, 2009 - Posted by | Cost, Federal Government, healthcare | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Why do our elected officials believe that government run programs are the answer? We already have Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the Veteran’s administration that are so efficient and well run that they are bordering on bankruptcy and insolvency, so why do we need yet another large bloated bureaucracy where we once again allow political appointees to decide our futures.

    Proposed solutions to the questions at hand

    The federal government over the last forty years has proven to us that they are not very fiscally responsible with our money. They do a great job of moving forward government programs that use more of my tax dollars now and in the future, but not very good at balancing budgets and paying down debt. They do tend to be better at regulating those things that need to be regulated and at putting rules in place that are meant to restrict our natural human tendency to prey on one another. I therefore propose that to level the playing field and give us the American people better and more affordable health care we need to
    a) Break-up the monopolistic domain of health insurance providers and health care providers in each state. Make sure that there are at least 3 to 4 major providers of health insurance and/or health care in each state and community. This gives each individual the opportunity to play the different insurers and health care providers against each other for greater cost efficiency and more choice. This can be done by creating insurance coops, owned by the policy owners, much like the State chartered Credit Unions run today. Once established these insurance coops would then be funded by the policy holders and the board of directors would be elected by the policy holders. Thus there would not be a continuing support of these insurance coops by tax payer dollars and there would be a great incentive to minimize costs. These insurance coops also need to have contracts with all medical facilities and personnel so that they will not be policy owners have access to which ever doctors or hospitals that they so desire.
    b) Do away with the preexisting condition clauses in the insurance contacts. Making sure that each person has the same access to healthcare.
    c) To make sure that those between jobs and those that are retired have affordable health care, move as part of the unemployment and retirement benefits those individuals onto the same health plan that the federal government has for our elected officials. Once the unemployed find work they are transitioned onto their employer’s health insurance.
    d) For each state, setup a group health care policy with all health insurers in the state that the self-employed and small businesses can join. Then give them a generous tax break for the funds that they spend on health insurance for their employees.

    Comment by Ronald Hendrickson Seamons | August 17, 2009 | Reply


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