Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Reform" does not mean "Improvement"

I noticed in the daily "Pravda on the Cumberland," aka The Tennessean the recurring theme this week: Everyone wants healthcare reform! Today's pulp was about county commissioners wanting "reform," complete with a nice picture of Kathleen Sebelius on a giant screen TV talking to the huddled masses in convention here in Nashvegas. The commissioners are concerned about the rising costs of healthcare, particularly indigent and prisoner care. Fair enough...the bills being bantered about in Congress, all touting "reform," do nothing for these issues.

C'mon people, "REFORM" does not mean "IMPROVEMENT!" This is a case where words can literally kill. Congressional fear of voting against "REFORM!" could kill the finest health care system in the world. The system being proposed will kill senior citizens, or at least guaranty an earlier grave. Is this the "REFORM!" Americans want? Gallup reported last week that by 50% to 44% Americans DISapprove of the way Obama is handling health care. Only 23%, according to Rasmussen, believe costs will go down. The sentiment seems to be there to do something, but not what is proposed.

Here's a starting point: agree on what the proposed legislation should achieve, then apply that metric to whatever gets proposed. The Iowa Committee, a group formed by the non-partisan Concord Coalition has a good starting point. Here are their "principles:"

Principle #1: Fiscal sustainability: The Committee feels strongly that rapid health care cost growth makes our current health care system fiscally unsustainable. We cannot pretend that resources are unlimited or that sure and swift savings will come from investments in comparative effectiveness research, health care technology and prevention programs.

Principle #2: Innovation through Collaboration: The Committee feels strongly that the future of health care will require a new level of innovation that can be best achieved by high-levels of formal and informal collaborations among all health care stakeholders.

Principle #3: Primary Care Transformation: The Committee feels strongly that elevating the role and use of primary care—and the ability to more effectively coordinate with acute-care specialty services and long-term or community-based care—is essential for the transformation of our health care system.

Principle #4: Societal Commitment to Prevention and Wellness: The Committee feels strongly that prevention and wellness must be included in governmental and business policy reform and third-party coverage arrangements.

Principle #5: Engaged and Responsible Health Care Consumers: The Committee feels strongly that health reform initiatives should encourage and set expectations for a more active role for the health care consumer.

I would add a few other principles:

#6: If you are happy with your health care, you do not have to do anything.

#7: No one can force you to change doctors, plans etc.

#8: Health care plans should be portable and should allow for pre-existing conditions.

#9: As it relates to the REALLY uninsured, i.e. not the people who choose not to have health care insurance, the illegal aliens, the self insured, a low cost catastrophic health coverage plan should be the goal.

#10: Minimize the costs of Doctor's malpractice insurance through tort reform.

Consensus on a starting point could lead to genuine health care reform that solves legitimate issues like higher costs and tends to the needs of those that truly cannot help themselves. Noble aims for a noble society, NOT a Federal takeover of an enormous (and growing) part of our economy. The current legislation being proposed is designed to put politicians and their cronies in charge of an enormous piggy bank from which to reward those that tend to them. That is truly sick.

Rumble on!

Cross Posted at Red State Rumblings


Anonymous said...

these conspiracy theories are so freaking pervasive i almost beloieve them myself... until i sober up and realize that it is all nonsense, of course.

nobody is killing off the private system, they will just have to adjust their more egregious practices to a more level playing field. (OH GOODNESS! no one will survive...)

People who have $ can still get ewhatever healthcare they want. so if you manage to make some $ with your empty blog, you can pay for your parents to get new rgans and joints forever. up to you.

seriously - do you really believe this crap, or is it just the knee-jerk 'hate everything obama does' that is so prevasive on the lunatic fringe?

Rumbler said...

Calling the facts a "conspiracy theory" is the same as calling the destruction of a system that serves the needs of 90% of the population exquisitely well "reform."

Look at the facts that are in the bill right now - it is designed to kill private insurance, choice and freedom. Take the time to read the damn bill before spouting the daily donk talking points.

Anonymous said...

the bill, as i have read it, contains no language at all to end everything about healthcare. in fact, it leaves esentially everyone alone, unless they are interested in a cheaper option. and while you and yours cower in fear... i remind you that the military has the dreaded 'public option' and it seems to be good enough for the troops - why not for you?

seriously. you are complaining for the sake of complaining. the only people who should be worried are the people who work for giant, inefficient insurance complanies. and to them, i would say "find the smartest guy in the room, and follow him to his brand new insurance company. then call me before the IPO".

everyone else will have exactly what they have now; those with nothing can actually prevent diseases (savings! hooray $!) and you and I will keep exactly what we have, more or less. pretending that this is the end of the world is just... conspiracy theories.