Skip to comments.Eliminating the Public Option Is Not Enough
Posted on 09/01/2009 3:38:49 PM PDT by AreaMan
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Obama administration has signaled that it may be willing to forgo creation of a federal government insurance plan (the so-called public option) as part of its healthcare reform. This is far less of a concession than it appears.
Even if the public option is excised, the healthcare bill under consideration by Congress would still impose a heavy blanket of federal regulation on every aspect of insurance and healthcare itself.
The government would determine what interventions work and are included in plans coverage. This would include a judgment on what is cost effectivedoes a treatment justify its cost? The government would put a monetary value on the number of years a patients life is extended or improved. Would everyones life be valued the same?
The governments determination of covered benefits and cost effectiveness would determine what care patients receive.
The government would mandate enrollment practices; regulate how premiums are determined; specify what co-payments can be collected; and dictate how much of the premium would have to be paid out for claims. The government would switch money back and forth among plans (risk adjustment) to compensate plans that cover a larger share of sick people.
It would impose uniform marketing standards on insurance plans and regulate how plan documents are written to ensure that they use plain language. Although the evolving legislation manifestly fails this test itself, it requires insurers to use language that is clean, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing. To help the hapless insurers in this task, the newly created health choices commissioner would develop and issue guidance on best practices of plain language writing.
The newly created health choices commissioner would take bids from plans, negotiate with them, and enter into contracts with selected plans. This opens the way for undefined and unchecked informal regulation of plans, including, for instance, the number, type, and location of providers included in a plan, and how they are paid. The government would be able to use the contract mechanism to introduce any requirement it wanted, including social policies in favor at any particular time.
When the president belittles and dismisses those who warn that his proposals would result in federal control of healthcare, he is being either cynically misleading or naively delusional.
The governments determination of covered benefits and cost effectiveness would determine what care patients receive. The financial impact of the regulation of insurers would determine the number of people who go into medicine and nursing and thus whether there are manpower shortages, the speed with which patients can see a doctor they want, their access to hospitals, how modern the hospital is, and the distribution of doctors and hospitals.
This extensive federal regulation would politicize and bureaucratize healthcare more than it already is. The healthcare system would be governed by Congress and the administration, with their attendant commissions, panels, boards, and collaborating experts. Instead of focusing on meeting consumer needs, insurers and providers would hire more lobbyists.
Effective healthcare reform would deal with the specific problems that need fixing. We should assist those who want private insurance to obtain it, including those at the highest risk. We should examine what regulation is needed to ensure insurers do not fail to uphold their obligations, and how the federal and state roles should be defined. We should change our tax and subsidy structure to encourage families to own their insurance. This would let them keep their coverage if they change jobs or move. Longer-term relationships between insurers and families would enhance Americans security, improve the incentives in healthcare, and enhance prevention. The current medical malpractice litigation system raises the cost of healthcare and is not fair to patients; we should reform it.
The approach now being pushed by the president and his allies in Congress completely ignores the problems of our litigation system; uses the uninsured as a pretext for imposing extensive and counterproductive new federal regulation on the healthcare system; and would give control of healthcare to Congress and the administration rather than to American families.
When the president belittles and dismisses those who warn that his proposals would result in federal control of healthcare, he is being either cynically misleading or naively delusional. Either alternative is troublesome. Even if the congressional leadership agrees to drop the scheme of government-run insurance, the bill still would give the federal government control of the healthcare system. A new direction is needed.
John S. Hoff, a trustee of the Galen Institute, was a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2005.
Image by Darren Wamboldt/Bergman Group.
This is in Title IV of HR 3200. And no, everyone's life would not be valued the same. It would depend on your age and other factors, such as your health record, which the bill also mandates be collected and filed electronically by the government.
Start with Tort Reform on injury and all compensation. Loser pays. Set billable hours for lawyers. No coningency agreements. Because loser pays, it will not be necessary.
A no-cost way out that will not draw us into the disastrous slippery slope that will be co-ops or "expanded medicaid" or other euthamisms...we need to privatize, make portable and drive down costs by opening a free market that means that the 3 companies selling insurance in MD would have to compete with the 46 in PA.
Performance based outcomes will propel the better providers to the top and the market will sort out the lesser programs. 25% of the "uninsured" are "the invincibles" (the 18-25 year olds) that feel no need to buy insurance...if they do not buy insurance they can contract with private fee for service firms that will compete and possibly make loans or give them credit for procedures.
The higher risk 50-65 uninsured (uneligible for medicare, but struggle with no coverage, low income, job loss or pre-existing conditions) get assigned to a "risk pool" that better performing insurers will ultimately compete for, because they are able compete for them at reduced rates, giving them good coverage and reasonable rates.
The elderly will be covered by medicare and the indigent will be treated pro-bono by participating hospitals. I would like to see THAT pool covered by University Hospitals, many of whom have billion dollar grants behind the universties and should make use of the interns and younger doctors to keep the indigent covered, much as many law firms do.
There are several dozen better ways to go about “reforming” our health care system than what Congress is proposing.
Yep. The NON-MARXIST plans are preferable to theirs...
I may have missed in the very good article mention of one of the most insidious effects of government managed health care. Single payer, “public option” on the way to single payer, or just government managed “private” health care, will result in another government bureaucracy so large that in combination with Obama’s other purchased constituencies, it will be able to do anything he wants. Consider “temporary emergency suspension” of the inconvenient twenty-second Amendment: with it out of the way, Obama could rule as long as he lives.
Bump to read later.
The more leftist euphemisms are used the easier they will be to "tolerate".
"Tolerate" is communist for "accept".
Government managed health care = Socialized Medicine
Democrat health insurance reform = Socialized Medicine
Reject Socialized Medicine
Reject Socialism = Communism = Obammunism
Thank you for posting this because I see the usual suspects getting ready to sell out the American People again because the Paens are asking to many questions about the Country clubers in Washington ,when they are threatened they band together to sell us all out to save their worhtless asses .
If the Health care system is broken and needs total reform ,HOW COME THE GOVERNMENT HEALTH INSURANCE IS NOT BROKEN? WHY DO THEY GET TO KEEP THEIRS AND THE UNION THUGS
Kill the whole damned thing.
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