Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bipartisan Healthcare Reform

From what I've read and watched on TV it looks like all the plans coming out of the House are crap. When they use the term "Public Option" to mean coverage for those that can't currently afford it, rather than a plan anyone can buy in to, it's crap. Watching Anderson Cooper's "Health Crisis" or whatever it was, really showed what softies the folks at CNN are. I'm fairly disgusted by our media and our politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Here's what I think real healthcare reform could look like:

TORT REFORM
Yeah, throw that onto the table first. Get the Republicans' attention. Perturb a large donation group to the Dems. Be the first to say real change is in the works and you're willing to give something up to get something of much greater value. What form would this tort reform take? I don't know. Some sort of limits on payouts and some sort of limits on liability.

THE PUBLIC OPTION
The only real public option is one that offers a plan anyone, or any business, can buy in to. It should be offered at 20% less than current median rates. It will pay for itself in two years (maybe sooner) simply by the math of the rest of the world spending 50% less than we do.

PHARMA
We must be able to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies. Currently almost every prescription can be bought in Canada or Europe for less than we pay here. The opening negotiation should be we will pay the price your currently charge your lowest paying customers.

DOCTORS
Can remain private if they choose to, be a part of the plan, or do both. Hospitals, ditto. Emergency services ditto. My sense is we'll be able to pay them what they currently get and make their life easier by having clear guidelines on payment practices.

Why does our legislative body need 2500 pages to write this stuff? Because they aren't writing this stuff, they're writing crap to obfuscate their lack of any real action and, in in all likelihood, the lobbyists are writing it anyway, for much the same reason.

The only way to know you've really hit a bipartisan accord on something of this scale is if both sides of the aisle feel like they gave something up they thought they couldn't live without and won something they thought they could never win. Hopefully our politicians have chutzpah to get it done.

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