A Real Free Market Health Care Solution

President Obama made it clear this week that he was not going to settle for any delay in reforming health care. There are several proposals on the table ranging from government controlled "private" health care plans such as the Wyden-Bennett Health Reform Plan to the plan Mr. Obama prefers, fully government funded health care.  All of the proposals are designed so that private insurance will be squeezed out of the market.  Mr. Wyden's plan may seem more palatable initially but we must remember that ideologically the plan is the same as Mr. Obama's plan.  The end result will therefore be the same; single-payer government controlled health care.

Under the Wyden-Bennett plan, a new federal bureaucracy will be established and a new agency created in each state called the Health Help Agency (HHA) to manage the Healthy American Private Insurance, or HAPI plans. The name itself causes such a nice, warm feeling in my tummy that I can already see the health benefits!  HAPI plans will be sold through the state HHA, which will determine the contributions of individuals and employers. Each state will have at least two HAPI plans available so that people can double their happiness.

Mr. Wyden considers them private plans because there will be private insurance companies and private health care providers. They would be in fact as "private" as Medicare. Eventually, private insurance will cease to exist and the government will take over, perpetuating the purposeful dependence that Medicare was designed to ensure. 

There are several fundamental problems with all of the plans proposed by the Democrats.

  • 1. The plans are cost centered as opposed to patient centered. In other words, the Democrats are not pro-choice. In every case we can see that the Democrats have come out on the side of the government's right to mandate rather than patient choice. This is true in health care and in the abortion issue where the government protects only select choices. The government makes choices and the people abide by those choices.
  • 2. The government uses flawed statistics in order to push its health plan proposals. The myth of the 45 million uninsured and skewed life expectancy and infant mortality numbers are examples.
  • 3. Democrat proposals are going to cost much more than they will admit. Haven't we seen this somewhere before? Medicare costs are much higher than published with a debt of $38 trillion and fiscal collapse looming by 2018. Now, President Obama wants to add another entitlement program.

Goals of a good health care system:

  • 1. Simplicity. (Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi, this means lack of complexity)
  • 2. Available to all members of society, including the poor.
  • 3. Offers good, basic lower cost health care options.
  • 4. Portable. Not tied to employer or the government.
  • 5. Prevention of exclusions for those who have had "pre-existing" problems.
  • 6. Expandable. Option to purchase more extensive plans according to personal choice and ability. There is no Shangri-La. Wealthier people in Britain buy private insurance and those in Canada come to the United States for care. The Wyden plan proposes options for more extensive plans as well.
  • 7. Shared, sustainable cost and some personal financial responsibility for all.
  • 8. Patient health centered care. Preventive care with financial penalties for continued poor choices and rewards available for good health practices.

Solution:

  • 1. Don't pass any of the Democrat health care plans. Savings of at least $3 trillion over the next five years.
  • 2. Immediately do away with Medicare, Medicaid, and The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services. No other major industrialized nation has a separate system for the elderly, disabled and the poor. Scrap the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. Savings of nearly $1 trillion in federal tax dollars yearly, $1 trillion in savings for states and billions in savings by dissolving the tyrannical Joint Commission.
  • 3. People should be responsible for purchasing their own health care, not the government or the employer, making health insurance completely portable. Scrap Hillary Clinton's HIPAA act at a savings of billions yearly. Let's make it HIPAA-posthumous.
  • 4. A Health Insurance Company must offer a good basic low-cost health care plan with expanded health savings accounts. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 5. No health exclusions for three years. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 6. Health plans should promote healthy practices and preventive health. Taxpayer cost zero.
  • 7. For the poor, government should subsidize the premiums, not be involved in paying providers. Taxpayer costs by my estimate around $600 billion per year.
  • 8. Retired people of lower means should be helped as above but should not have a separate insurance plan run by the government. Sorry, Medicare is dead. Promises were broken, but we are mature people and we need to get over it. Let's not let it happen again! Taxpayer cost around $300 billion per year.
  • 9. End tax penalties for individuals purchasing individual health insurance. Taxpayer cost zero dollars as these penalties are merely punitive, designed to make people dependent.
  • 10. The health insurance companies in each state should have the option of creating a risk pool from some of their premium funds. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 11. Laws should be changed to allow for private health co-ops to be formed as an option for those so inclined. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 12. Patients should be free to change insurance plans at least twice yearly and since their insurance would not be controlled by their employer or the government no permission is needed from them. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 13. There should be no legal right for insurance plans to dismiss competent and qualified contracted physicians for "no cause", when that no cause is really due to the physician acting as a patient advocate.
  • 14. Tort reform with penalties for frivolous lawsuits and the loser paying some of the costs.
Well, there you have it. The savings for taxpayers over three years: Nearly $5 trillion.  Not requiring bills hundreds of pages long: Priceless!  A few short regulations and we have a viable health care system for the future covering over 99% of the population, devoid of the treachery of Medicare and without dependence on the federal government.  It's very simple, very sensible, and so easy even a government official can understand it. It's even short enough for Congress members to read fully, though some may require several days. Oh, yes, Mr. Obama, I want our $600 billion back.

Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D. President of Oregon Right to Life. He blogs at summacontraprobus.blogspot.com
President Obama made it clear this week that he was not going to settle for any delay in reforming health care. There are several proposals on the table ranging from government controlled "private" health care plans such as the Wyden-Bennett Health Reform Plan to the plan Mr. Obama prefers, fully government funded health care.  All of the proposals are designed so that private insurance will be squeezed out of the market.  Mr. Wyden's plan may seem more palatable initially but we must remember that ideologically the plan is the same as Mr. Obama's plan.  The end result will therefore be the same; single-payer government controlled health care.

Under the Wyden-Bennett plan, a new federal bureaucracy will be established and a new agency created in each state called the Health Help Agency (HHA) to manage the Healthy American Private Insurance, or HAPI plans. The name itself causes such a nice, warm feeling in my tummy that I can already see the health benefits!  HAPI plans will be sold through the state HHA, which will determine the contributions of individuals and employers. Each state will have at least two HAPI plans available so that people can double their happiness.

Mr. Wyden considers them private plans because there will be private insurance companies and private health care providers. They would be in fact as "private" as Medicare. Eventually, private insurance will cease to exist and the government will take over, perpetuating the purposeful dependence that Medicare was designed to ensure. 

There are several fundamental problems with all of the plans proposed by the Democrats.

  • 1. The plans are cost centered as opposed to patient centered. In other words, the Democrats are not pro-choice. In every case we can see that the Democrats have come out on the side of the government's right to mandate rather than patient choice. This is true in health care and in the abortion issue where the government protects only select choices. The government makes choices and the people abide by those choices.
  • 2. The government uses flawed statistics in order to push its health plan proposals. The myth of the 45 million uninsured and skewed life expectancy and infant mortality numbers are examples.
  • 3. Democrat proposals are going to cost much more than they will admit. Haven't we seen this somewhere before? Medicare costs are much higher than published with a debt of $38 trillion and fiscal collapse looming by 2018. Now, President Obama wants to add another entitlement program.

Goals of a good health care system:

  • 1. Simplicity. (Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi, this means lack of complexity)
  • 2. Available to all members of society, including the poor.
  • 3. Offers good, basic lower cost health care options.
  • 4. Portable. Not tied to employer or the government.
  • 5. Prevention of exclusions for those who have had "pre-existing" problems.
  • 6. Expandable. Option to purchase more extensive plans according to personal choice and ability. There is no Shangri-La. Wealthier people in Britain buy private insurance and those in Canada come to the United States for care. The Wyden plan proposes options for more extensive plans as well.
  • 7. Shared, sustainable cost and some personal financial responsibility for all.
  • 8. Patient health centered care. Preventive care with financial penalties for continued poor choices and rewards available for good health practices.

Solution:

  • 1. Don't pass any of the Democrat health care plans. Savings of at least $3 trillion over the next five years.
  • 2. Immediately do away with Medicare, Medicaid, and The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services. No other major industrialized nation has a separate system for the elderly, disabled and the poor. Scrap the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. Savings of nearly $1 trillion in federal tax dollars yearly, $1 trillion in savings for states and billions in savings by dissolving the tyrannical Joint Commission.
  • 3. People should be responsible for purchasing their own health care, not the government or the employer, making health insurance completely portable. Scrap Hillary Clinton's HIPAA act at a savings of billions yearly. Let's make it HIPAA-posthumous.
  • 4. A Health Insurance Company must offer a good basic low-cost health care plan with expanded health savings accounts. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 5. No health exclusions for three years. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 6. Health plans should promote healthy practices and preventive health. Taxpayer cost zero.
  • 7. For the poor, government should subsidize the premiums, not be involved in paying providers. Taxpayer costs by my estimate around $600 billion per year.
  • 8. Retired people of lower means should be helped as above but should not have a separate insurance plan run by the government. Sorry, Medicare is dead. Promises were broken, but we are mature people and we need to get over it. Let's not let it happen again! Taxpayer cost around $300 billion per year.
  • 9. End tax penalties for individuals purchasing individual health insurance. Taxpayer cost zero dollars as these penalties are merely punitive, designed to make people dependent.
  • 10. The health insurance companies in each state should have the option of creating a risk pool from some of their premium funds. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 11. Laws should be changed to allow for private health co-ops to be formed as an option for those so inclined. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 12. Patients should be free to change insurance plans at least twice yearly and since their insurance would not be controlled by their employer or the government no permission is needed from them. Taxpayer cost zero dollars.
  • 13. There should be no legal right for insurance plans to dismiss competent and qualified contracted physicians for "no cause", when that no cause is really due to the physician acting as a patient advocate.
  • 14. Tort reform with penalties for frivolous lawsuits and the loser paying some of the costs.
Well, there you have it. The savings for taxpayers over three years: Nearly $5 trillion.  Not requiring bills hundreds of pages long: Priceless!  A few short regulations and we have a viable health care system for the future covering over 99% of the population, devoid of the treachery of Medicare and without dependence on the federal government.  It's very simple, very sensible, and so easy even a government official can understand it. It's even short enough for Congress members to read fully, though some may require several days. Oh, yes, Mr. Obama, I want our $600 billion back.

Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D. President of Oregon Right to Life. He blogs at summacontraprobus.blogspot.com