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  • Even More Conservative Health Reform Ideas

    President Barack Obama consistently accuses Americans who are skeptical about his health care plan of supporting the stats quo. Like much of what Obama says about health care, this simply isn’t true. Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal has an op-ed in the Washington Post identifying 10 ideas to increase the affordability and quality of health care:

    • Voluntary purchasing pools: Give individuals and small businesses the opportunities that large businesses and the government have to seek lower insurance costs.
    • Portability: As people change jobs or move across state lines, they change insurance plans. By allowing consumers to “own” their policies, insurers would have incentive to make more investments in prevention and in managing chronic conditions.
    • Lawsuit reform: It makes no sense to ignore one of the biggest cost drivers in the system — the cost of defensive medicine, largely driven by lawsuits. Worse, many doctors have stopped performing high-risk procedures for fear of liability.
    • Require coverage of preexisting conditions: Insurance should not be least accessible when it is needed most. Companies should be incentivized to focus on delivering high-quality effective care, not to avoid covering the sick.
    • Transparency and payment reform: Consumers have more information when choosing a car or restaurant than when selecting a health-care provider. Provider quality and cost should be plainly available to consumers, and payment systems should be based on outcomes, not volume. Today’s system results in wide variations in treatment instead of the consistent application of best practices. We must reward efficiency and quality.
    • Electronic medical records: The current system of paper records threatens patient privacy and leads to bad outcomes and higher costs.
    • Tax-free health savings accounts: HSAs have helped reduce costs for employers and consumers. Some businesses have seen their costs decrease by double-digit percentages. But current regulations discourage individuals and small businesses from utilizing HSAs.
    • Reward healthy lifestyle choices: Providing premium rebates and other incentives to people who make healthy choices or participate in management of their chronic diseases has been shown to reduce costs and improve health.
    • Cover young adults: A large portion of the uninsured are people who cannot afford coverage after they have “aged out” of their parents’ policies. Permitting young people to stay on their parents’ plans longer would reduce the number of uninsured and keep healthy people in insurance risk pools — helping to lower premiums for everyone.
    • Refundable tax credits (for the uninsured and those who would benefit from greater flexibility of coverage): Redirecting some of the billions already spent on the uninsured will help make non-emergency care outside the emergency room affordable for millions and will provide choices of coverage through the private market rather than forcing people into a government-run system. We should trust American families to make choices for themselves while we ensure they have access to quality, affordable health care.

    These are all great ideas, many of which are incorporated into the Ryan-Coburn Patients Choice Act. Heritage scholar Ed Haislmaier has also detailed six key principles of reform that will bring sanity to our nation’s health care system:

    1. Individuals are the key decision makers in the health care system. This would be a major departure from conventional third-party pay­ment arrangements that dominate today’s health care financing in both the public and the private sectors. In a normal market based on personal choice and free-market competition, consumers drive the system.
    2. Individuals buy and own their own health insurance coverage. In a normal market, when individuals exchange money for a good or service, they acquire a property right in that good or ser­vice, but in today’s system, individuals and families rarely have property rights in their health insur­ance coverage. The policy is owned and controlled by a third party, either their employers or govern­ment officials. In a reformed system, individuals would own their health insurance, just as they own virtually every other type of insurance in virtually every other sector of the economy.
    3. Individuals choose their own health insur­ance coverage. Individuals, not employers or government officials, would choose the health care coverage and level of coverage that they think best. In a normal market, the primacy of consumer choice is the rule, not the exception.
    4. Individuals have a wide range of coverage choices. Suppliers of medical goods and ser­vices, including health plans, could freely enter and exit the health care market.
    5. Prices are transparent. As in a normal market, individuals as consumers would actually know the prices of the health insurance plan or the medical goods and services that they are buying. This would help them to compare the value that they receive for their money.
    6. Individuals have the periodic opportunity to change health coverage. In a consumer-driven health insurance market, individuals would have the ability to pick a new health plan on predict­able terms. They would not be locked into past decisions and deprived of the opportunity to make future choices.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Even More Conservative Health Reform Ideas

    1. Freedomof Speech TX says:

      The "status quo" is a favorite term right out of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Many think it chic.

      No one argues that "Status Quo" or "the current situation" is not sustainable.

      Everyone realizes that health care reform is necessary. The conservatives do have viable alternatives that will work, without emasculating the present system. The liberals know it too, but their goal is total control AND THAT is the underlying issue.

      The doubters can snicker if they like.

      The truth is America is "Exceptional" in history. No other country believed our form of government and freedoms would work. It did work.

      Why would we want to "re-invent" into other forms of government that have failed, costing 10s of millions of lives and resulting in limited freedoms?

    2. Loren, CA says:

      Requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions will not reduce healthcare costs.

      When will politicians stop exchanging moral hazard for votes?

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      Nice commentary, Freedomof Speech!

      I love Bobby Jindahl. He is a true role model for immigrants and second generation immigrants. He speaks in admiration of the strength of America and displays much respect for what America HAD become. He is genuine, honest, with sound reason and ideas. He builds strength in individuals to which results in independence of individuals. He has faith in the AMERICAN PEOPLE. NOT OBAMA PITY ME. I would love to see Bobby and Sarah run in 2012! THIS COUNTRY WOULD GAIN BACK ITS STRENGTH that Obama stole.

    4. Dean, Dallas says:

      These are health reforms that make sense. They actually do not demolish the current system, but rather "fix" those problems that exist or regulate them into non-issues or less of an issue. The problem of having uninsured individuals who want insurance is corrected or the system incourages those people to be able to get insurance. Wasn't that the whole point of overhauling healthcare? It is not anohter government intitlement program designed to keep people dependent on the government, but maintains their freedom to take care of healthcare themselves.

    5. Kelly, Denver, CO says:

      Here we go again. More fascist Republicans trying to insert even more government into health care. When are you all going to get it? The Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats. Fascism (Republicans) or socialism (Democrats) = not free (statism.) You're either free or not free, there is no middle ground. A mixed economy is simply a form of statism.

      When insurance companies must follow the government's arbitrary rules, they will never be able to operate in a manner that is a win for them and their customers. Free markets is the answer to the health care problem. Get the government out of it!!!

    6. Earl, Queens, NY says:

      On the radio last night (10/5/09), The Great One cited a report. Which insurer is the biggest denier of health care claims? It’s not CIGNA, Aetna, Humana or any other private insurer. The biggest denier, as a % of health claims, IS MEDICARE!! My guess is that this % will only increase as Medicare moves closer to bankruptcy. Also, this is another reason to ask: Why would anyone want this same government to take over the entire health care system??

      Also, recently on CNS news, they reported that MSNBC's Ed Schultz said Republicans are liars about health care, and that want to see us dead. Well, I have good questions for him: Why are the survival rates for cancer and other diseases much higher in the USA than in countries with government health care such as the UK? Why do so many Canadians, Britons, etc., travel to the USA for health care? Why didn’t Chris Dodd or Ted Kennedy go to Canada or the UK for their recent health needs? Why does Congress want to exempt itself from this raw deal? Why do they propose “end of life counseling”? As for the latter, it sounds like it’s the democraps that want to see us dead!! It is you, Schultz, and your democrap pals, that are liars!!

    7. John Saucier says:

      We don't need 4-8 million new federal employees running a health care plan that nobody wants (little England has 1.4 million employess doing just that). So, let's put Bobby's plan in a 100 page or less document and put it forward to congress and fix this thing – now. None of us with any sense want the current plan on the books in congress or the senate or anything like them. We want a fix, not a government run health plan or the costs and corruption associated with it. Thanks Gov. Bobby Jindal for real ideas that solve the problems, not create them.

    8. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      None of Jindahl ideas are in any of the Dems bills. WHY? Because once again this is not about

      medical care, it's about POWER.

      I would like to ask why is the "status quo" so

      demonized. Over 80% of the people in the U.S. that have health coverage are happy with their coverage, that's "status quo.

      Those that do not have or refuse to buy coverage,

      (of, of course illegals) is less than 2%. Why should the 2% dictate to the more than 80%? Because of POWER. The POWER to

      tax and fine those that refuse. Power over our

      lives and pockets.

    9. Jerry from Chicago says:

      I agree that Mr. Obama and his Democrat majority are fond of saying that Republicans only complain; they don't have any plans of their own for reforming health care. This is absolutely untrue. Everytime the Republicans try to introduce their own ideas on health care reform,. the Democrat majority vote them down.

      Health insurance in American today is very expensive. As one who has been in the health insurance business for 42 years, I can tell you it wasn't always that way. Why is it that the cost of health insurance increases so much faster than the cost of living? In 1968, inflation on health insurance was about 2% a year. By 1970, it had jumped to 7% a year. Each year there after, until 1985, health insurance inflation increased, on average, an additional 1.2% per year, topping out at 22% per year in early 1985.

      In 1985 there was a heavy migration from PPO to more managed care plans llike Point of Service (POS) plans and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, both of which employed a "gatekeeper", or a primary care physician that directed individuals to specialists only when the primary care physician thought it was necessary. Such referral were made to only those specialists who, like the primary care physician, were in the managed care network.

      From 1985 through 1987, inflation on health insurance plans dropped about 4% to 4.5% each year, until it reached 10% annually in 1987. Then, in 1988 inflation on health insurance came back, but not a a rate of 1.5% top 2% annually, but from 10% to 20% per year, where it remained until 1994. Then came a serious push to develop a national health care plan run under the Clinton administration. Again, inflation on health insurance dropped steadily over the next several years, at a rate of about 2% per year, until it reached about 9% to 10% annually, where it currently hovers.

      Why is inflation on health insurance so much higher than most anything else? There are dozens of reasons, including:

      * Continual cutbacks in Medicare by the government. Ever since Medicare was adopted, the government has increased the deductibles people must pay and have decreased the amounts they pay hospitals and doctors. This leads to cost shifting by medical providers. If a hospital or doctor has to take 30% less in payments from Medicare, then they will shift that shortfall onto the bills of non-Medicare patients.

      * Continual legislation at the state and federal levels requiring health plans to expand coverage and eligibility for coverage. All of these legislatively required expansions of coverage and of eligibility for coverage result in additional claims that must be paid and in corresponding premium rate increases.

      * Keeping pace with rapidly developing technology and new drugs. CAT scans and PET scans are tests with which every cancer patient is very familiar. The technology that allow these tests to be performed are very expensive. There are life saving machines and technology that can keep premature newborns alive until their organs can be fully developed, allowing them to survive, where previously they couldn't.

      The same can be said for new life saving drugs.

      * There is also the impact of legislation that requires hospitals to treat and care for anyone who walks into an emergency room and treat them until their condition is stabilized, whether they have insurance or not, including illegal aliens, the poor, or even those who can afford insurance but choose not to buy it.

      * We have an aging population in the U.S. with greater life expectancies that requires care.

      Like my teachers used to say, there may be a dozen reasons, but there's never an excuse. The American public doesn't want to understand the reasons.

    10. Pingback: Even More Conservative Health Reform Ideas » The Foundry « Creative Evolution

    11. harv, Pa says:

      Every time the government intervenes in our daily lives they create more problems than they fix. They don't have the expertise, intelligence or ability to to reform programs that were instituted by professionals.It has always been my understanding that government is ruled by the people, not vise-versa.Obama's policies are not in the best interest of the this country or it's people. We are being led down the road to destruction by a government who ignores our self-determination which is stated in the constitution.

    12. Fred, Santa Clara CA says:

      Concerning pre-existing conditions: Allowing someone to purchase insurance once they are ill or injured is like allowing someone who builds their house on a cliff and on an earthquake fault, to buy into the same insurance pool as someone in a safe zone. This is no different than allowing someone who is dying to buy life insurance. In the insurance industry this is referred to as “moral hazard”. When you think trouble is around the corner, then you buy into the insurance pool.

      If someone develops a condition while insured, they should be able to continue their coverage. That’s only fair. But it’s unfair to those that properly insure themselves to allow someone into the insurance pool that wants to buy coverage because they’re facing a big medical bill.

    13. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Black's Law; Status Quo. The existing state of thngs at any given date. "Last actual, peaceable, noncontested condition, which preceded pending controvercy. State ex rel. Pay Less Drug Stores v. Sutton, 2 Wash. 2d 523, 98 P.2d 680, 683, 684; State of Inf. of McKittrick v. American Ins. Co., 351 Mo. 392, 173 s. w.2d 51, 52.

      Now we have the actual. Legal meaning of,"Stais Quo", which I am very sure Mr. Obama was either asleep during class or missed while attending Student Democratic activities.

      Actually, America has never had the need to go through 'Status Quo", maily because its Citizens are forever bringing their Politicians attention back to the fact, that 'They' work for 'Us'!

      I do know for several facts piled atop one another starting with NAFTA and continuing with the Social Service support and lack of the Federal Government enforcing our Laws to evict Illegal Aliens, we haven't had Staus Quo for Decades.

      As a matter of fact, being born the first of the Baby Boomers, I have never known of a Staus Quo in my live, in this Nation, though I have know Great Pride, and Great disappointment.

      So when Politicians start using Legal terms, especially Latin, do not go to your Dictionary or rely on your memory, or feel embarassed about asking them what they mean. But always follow it up with Black's Law. It is the Bible of all the Courts in the United States!

    14. John, Philadelphia says:

      Legislation requiring health-care plans to cover pre-existing conditions is not it necessary if plans are portable.

      Not only is it unnecessary, it's not even desirable: if such coverage would be a "win-win" for plan providers and beneficiaries, the market would already be offering it.

      Mandatory coverage of pre-existing conditions isn't a conservative idea at all, because it's unnecessary, undesirable governmental control of the market.

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