Common Sense Health Care Reform

We’re told that ObamaCare is now dead, at least Democrats don’t feel like they have to take marching orders from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi anymore. But the pundits also say the Democrats would love to pass something, anything, that has health care or insurance reform in its name.

UPDATE: New CNN poll finds that only 30% favor passage of a comprehensive reform bill on the same scale as ObamaCare, with 48% supporting a fresh start and 21% dropping the entire idea altogether. In other words, 69% are against ObamaCare, and this is a CNN poll

Well, there are some things they could do but even the Republican plans don’t seem to understand the basic concepts. First, the correct principles have to be considered. Government is already too heavily involved in health care and any reform that is actually about health care and not about increasing our taxes and increasing the power of politicians and bureaucrats over our lives should focus on reducing the role of government in health care and health insurance.

The are several aspects of government involvement that exist now and are making health care more expensive and making health insurance premiums too high for many people to afford. The first thing any health care reform should do is to eliminate unnecessary and bothersome government meddling. Specifically, the following should be done immediately:

  • Eliminate all restrictions on residency to buy health insurance. Allow any citizen to buy health insurance from any insurance company licensed to sell insurance in any state, not just the state where the applicant for the insurance lives. This would allow citizens who live in states that impose mandates for certain coverage to shop for insurance in a state that does not impose so many mandates and thus find the insurance they want and can afford. You can do that now for car insurance. Why not health insurance?
  • Make all health insurance premiums tax deductible so that privately-purchased insurance will be on an equal footing with employer-provided insurance.
  • Amend federal tax laws to allow for universal medical savings accounts so that people can cover their routine care out of their medical savings account and use low cost-high deductible major medical insurance for catastrophic illness care.
  • Just these three things would lower health care costs, lower insurance premiums, and improve health care delivery. So why can’t we expect these things to be done right away? Simple. Obamacare was never about health care, and it was never about making health care or health insurance less expensive. It was always only about making the government bigger and more involved in every aspect of our lives. It was about remaking American into a permanent center-left welfare state.

    I would be willing to wager that we will not hear any of the three remedies I advocate here mentioned in Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight. That should tell us that ObamaCare was never about improving the health care system.

    But if anybody tells you they want reform of the health care system, ask them about these three things. If they are not in favor of doing these things immediately, then you will know they are either lying or as dumb as doughnuts when they say the want to reform the health care system. They don’t want to do any such thing. They simply want to make you give more of your hard earned money to the government and if in addition your health care also becomes more expensive and harder to get, that’s tough toenails. They don’t care or they’re too stupid to know any better.

    Of course, anyone who was really sincere about health care reform would also want medical tort reform so that doctors don’t have to pay a million dollars a year for malpractice insurance. Doctors don’t pay those premiums. Their patients do.

    Even Republicans want to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. That is not possible. Once pre-existing condition coverage is mandated, it is not insurance anymore. It is welfare. And welfare is properly a function of non-profit charities, and unfortunately government, but certainly not for-profit businesses. There are many ways to pay for the health care that is needed and for which it is already too late to cover with insurance. Mandating insurance companies to pay for it is simply forcing them to be the agent for transfer of money from some people to other people. Risk sharing is the concept of insurance, not transferring money among individuals in society. We can do that better through charity, or even government, and we don’t need to insert a for-profit entity like an insurance company into the middle of the transaction. That will only add unnecessary expense into an already expensive problem. It’s immediate consequence it that fewer people will be insured, the very problem any health reform should be trying to correct.

    Some words I never read or hear spoken anymore are “guaranteed renewable and non-cancellable.” Those words refer to the way health insurance used to be sold, and they way it should be sold again. That is, if you are healthy at the time you buy your insurance but get a dreaded disease later your insurance will continue to cover you for as long as you pay the premium and will never be cancelled nor have the premium raised based upon your new medical condition. It will be “guaranteed renewable and non-cancellable.”

    One of the things that is silly about saying an insurance policy should cover pre-existing conditions is that it means a condition that pre-exists the date you buy the insurance. The concept of insurance is to cover you for something that has not yet happened, is not relatively likely to ever happen, but will be catastrophic to you if it ever does happen. If it does happen, your insurance is supposed to take care of it. The actuaries at the insurance company took that risk into consideration when they set the premium for your insurance.

    Everybody knows they can’t wait until they are in an accident to buy car insurance. Why would anyone think they can wait until they have a heart attack to buy health insurance? It’s one of the dumbest things being discussed in this day and age, one of the stupidest ages of mankind.

    just the way Democrats like it.

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