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  • Public Plans and Rationing Your Health Care

    The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus tackled health care reform in an op-ed this Sunday, and her article nicely laid out many of the key areas of dispute and offered some interesting ideas for compromise. But in doing so, she exposed the internal contradictions of those arguing for a “public plan” and why a public plan cannot be part of reform. Marcus writes:

    Should there be a public insurance option? This is a question that evokes near-religious fervor and that could crash the whole enterprise. Republicans hate the notion of a government program because they fear, with ample reason, that it is a slippery-slope step to a single-payer program. Liberals demand a public insurance alternative for precisely that reason.

    Potential solution: Have the public program abide by the same rules as private plans, so it has no inherent advantage.

    But then Marcus writes:

    What mechanism should there be to control costs? Specifically, should there be some kind of national health board to determine what benefits should be covered — or not? Electronic health records and comparative-effectiveness research are important steps, but not enough on their own to bend the curve of ever-increasing health-care costs.

    Potential solution: Have a board that makes these decisions only for federal programs.

    So which is it? Are we going to have a single set of rules which all plans have to follow, or are we going to have one set of rules for the public plan and another set of rules for the private plan and so push the entire system down the public plan road? Marcus reveals the gameplan and its problems for public plan advocates when she writes:

    As with Medicare now, that ends up influencing private insurers’ behavior. … This opens the door to charges of rationing and government-controlled health care — and ads that make “Harry and Louise” look like “Sesame Street.”

    Marcus is dead right: creating a public plan that will control costs by rationing care will inevitably lead to industry wide regulations that will ration everyone’s care. And proponents who portray it as merely just another plan in a fair competition are either disingenuous or know nothing about the way Washington actually works.

    Fortunately, there is a better way.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Public Plans and Rationing Your Health Care

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      No matter what plan, either a private insurance or a socialist scheme such as in UK, it will be a failure. It will result in denial of coverage. Why? There is no incentive for cost control when a third party beyond the care-seeker and care-giver is involved in determining cost of delivery of health care.

      Insurance must be for catastrophic events only. Think of home owner's insurance and auto insurance. You don't have insurance for maintenance of the house or automobile. Yet you have insurance for minor ailment, yearly check up, membership to a physical fitness and the like. It can never work.

      Solution is to dispense ordinary medical care just like buying groceries- Physician, clinic and the consumer. Insurance is only for major medical events.

      Plaintiff litigation is only through loser-pay system. It will cut out the medical malpractice insurance. The legal reform is a must.

      The health care costs comes off before taxable income is calculated.

      Remove government, insurance industry and the Congress from meddling in the health care industry. Medicare will only insure for major medical and not for doctor appointments and other routine health care items.

    2. Barb -mn says:

      Unless there is a pandemic of disease out of control of the people, government has no business in the privacy of the people's health. This is outrageous and needs to be handled by the responsibility of the people.

      Obama says "DOING NOTHING, IS NOT AN OPTION!" Guess what Mr. President, yes it is. And alot better option than what you are forcing on us as you stage your inability to handle all the crisis you've manipulated the majority to believe you're innocent of!

      Health care – Market place

      Day care – Market place

      Early education – Market place

      College education – Market place

      Quality elementary education – Market place or home school

      Infrastructure – Market place

      Man-made global warming – FARCE – everything initiated at a cost, remove all costs, taxes, fees, regulations, mandates, bans involving government made man-made global warming. Allow businesses under civil law to be free to conduct without government interference.

      Reduce or tax government salaries by 50%, audit all officials, drug tests for all those in public relations.

      I so agree with you Spiritof76!

      Mr. President, You do have alot on your plate. Alot of your own BS. Alot of what you went out of your way to put on your own plate and blame everyone else for.

    3. S Adams says:

      "drug tests for all those in public relations?"

      How can that possibly do anything to help correct the health care mess we are faced with?

    4. Barb -mn says:

      Good one!?

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