Read the Bills Act Coalition

Monday, November 30, 2009

Health Reform: Kill the bills and do it right | Richmond Times-Dispatch

From the Times Dispatch:

The United States has the best health care in the world -- but because of its
inefficiencies, also the most expensive. The fundamental problem with the
2,074-page Senate health care bill (as with its 2,014 page House counterpart) is
that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions,
regulations, mandates, committees, and other arbitrary bureaucratic
Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any
regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes -- such as the 118
new boards, commissions, and programs -- is political expediency. Each must be
able to garner just enough votes to pass. There is not even a pretense of a
unifying vision or conceptual harmony....The result is an overregulated,
overbureaucratized system of surpassing arbitrariness and inefficiency. Throw a
dart at the Senate tome:You'll find mandates with financial penalties -- the
amounts picked out of a hat....You'll find insurance companies (who live and die
by their actuarial skills) told exactly what weight to give risk factors, such
as age. Currently insurance premiums for 20-somethings are about one-sixth the
premiums for 60-somethings. The House bill dictates the young shall now pay at
minimum one-half; the Senate bill, one-third -- numbers picked out of a
hat....You'll find sliding scales for health insurance subsidies -- percentages
picked out of a hat -- that will radically raise marginal income tax rates for
middle-class recipients, among other crazy unintended consequences....The bill
is irredeemable. It should not only be defeated. It should be immolated, its
ashes scattered over the Senate swimming pool. Then do health care the right way
-- one reform at a time, each simple and simplifying, aimed at reducing
complexity, arbitrariness, and inefficiency....First, tort reform. This is money
-- the low-end estimate is about half a trillion per decade -- wasted in two
ways. Part is simply hemorrhaged into the legal system to benefit a few jackpot
lawsuit winners and an army of extravagantly rich malpractice lawyers such as
John Edwards....The rest is wasted within the medical system in the millions of
unnecessary tests, procedures, and referrals undertaken solely to fend off
lawsuits -- resources wasted on patients who don't need them and which could be
redirected to the uninsured who really do...In the 4,000-plus pages of the two
bills, there is no tort reform. Indeed, the House bill actually penalizes states
that dare "limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages." Why? Because, as
Howard Dean has openly admitted, Democrats don't want "to take on the trial
lawyers." What he didn't say --he didn't need to -- is that they give millions
to the Democrats for precisely this kind of protection.....Second, even more
simple and simplifying, abolish the prohibition against buying health insurance
across state lines.....Some states have very few health insurers. Rates are
high. So why not allow interstate competition? After all, you can buy oranges
across state lines. If you couldn't, oranges would be extremely expensive in
Wisconsin, especially in winter....And the answer to the resulting high
Wisconsin orange prices wouldn't be the establishment of a public option -- a
federally run orange-growing company in Wisconsin -- to introduce "competition."
It would be to allow Wisconsin residents to buy Florida oranges....But neither
bill lifts the prohibition on interstate competition for health insurance.
Because this would obviate the need -- the excuse -- for the public option,
which the left wing of the Democratic Party sees (correctly) as the royal road
to fully socialized medicine.

Read Here: Health Reform: Kill the bills and do it right Richmond Times-Dispatch

1 comment:

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

As you stated, Pelosi provides $$$ to states to pursue tort reform, but they cannot pass caps or address attorneys' fees. What's left Nancy? This is a joke. Defensive medicine lives for another decade. See under Legal Quality category.