Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"The Next Phase of Healthcare Reform": Providing Low Cost, High Quality Care

The 2010 Affordable Care Act wasn't about Healthcare Reform in general but about Health Insurance Expansion. And regulating the Private Health Insurance Industry with a Patients Bill of Rights. And these things will help bring down our Healthcare Costs with everybody contributing to their own Healthcare Costs. As well as some reforms in Medicare and some other reforms in Medicaid. Which were less positive because it made millions of more people eligible for Medicaid. But without paying for it leaving the bill to the States which they aren't going to like. So the first round of Healthcare Reform as I call it was about Health Insurance Expansion and Regulation. Not so much about bringing down our long term Healthcare Costs. And that gets to things like expanding Healthcare more hospitals and clinics, taking better care of ourselves as a country. So we don't have to consume as much Healthcare in the future and only getting Healthcare that we actually need to stay healthy and survive . And discourage things that are more on the luxury side of Healthcare, like certain Plastic Surgery's, massages that sorta thing. Because we spend around 19% of our GDP on Healthcare twice as much as any other country in the Developed World. And we can do basic things that I just laid out to where we can get our Healthcare Costs to a manageable level. 10-12% of GDP and free up a lot more resources for the rest of the economy. And perhaps even bring down our taxes because our Healthcare could consume less revenue in the future.

What I would do first is what we should've done eighteen months ago in Healthcare Reform that Conservative Democrats and Senate Republicans blocked. Create a Public Option for Health Insurance, not a Public Mandate or a Single Payer Healthcare System. But a Public Option not run by the Federal Government or any Government. But a Public Option that each State would be able to set up for their own population. that would be Independent, Non Profit, Semi Private Self Financed Health Insurance Service. Thats paid for by its customers that anyone who can finance their own Health Insurance would be eligible for. Including people eligible for Medicare that would have to operate under the same rules and regulations as any other Private Non Profit Health Insurer. So there's no unfair advantage, to provide more competition to the Health Insurance Industry. And then what I would do is create a new Healthcare Service not to take over Private Hospitals and Clinics. But to operate in areas that don't have enough hospitals but operate all over as well. So we can expand to our access to Healthcare in America to make it Universal or close to it. Again allowing each State to set up their own Healthcare Service that would run hospitals, clinics and offices. That would be Semi Private Non Profit Independent and Self Financed paid for by its patients.

One of the reasons why I support what I call a Progressive Consumption Tax to replace the Progressive Income Tax. Is so it can be applied to Healthcare, so we can encourage not demand Healthy Behavior with discounts. And discourage Unhealthy Behavior through taxes. To bring down our Healthcare Costs and get them to a more manageable level. Health Insurance Expansion definitely has to be part of bringing down our Healthcare Costs. But its not a Silver Bullet just a part of a much larger puzzle that is the American Healthcare System that we have to solve.