Monday, August 10, 2009

My Thoughts on Obama’s Health Care Reform

How many of you out there have read the proposed health care reform bill? All 1000 plus pages? I tried, but had to quit reading. If you are not a lawyer, I don’t recommend it – it will make your head explode! When I tried to read it, I had to stop before my head did a poor imitation of a hand grenade. It did give me a headache that still hasn’t subsided. Most of it I did not understand, but some of the things I did understand has me very worried. I won’t go into details. They have been covered many times elsewhere.

I don’t disagree that there are some parts of our current system that needs improvement. Instead of throwing out the entire system for a new, unproven system that is iffy at best, and very, very expensive. My question to Obama and Congress is: can we afford it? What is the plan if the cost is twice the amount they are saying it will cost? Even Congress’s own budget office has stated that the price tag of the proposed reform bill is untenable.

How about we just address and fix those parts of the current system and then work on providing health care for those who are too poor to afford it? Tort liability is one area that could address the rising cost of health care. I don’t have any suggestions on how to fix this, as I am not a lawyer, but I think there are some smart people out there that could come up with a plan that both sides of the argument could live with.

Pre-existing condition is another issue that could fairly easily be addressed. Simply require all health care insurance companies not exclude any pre-existing conditions. I know that this would increase the cost of health insurance premiums, but with some sort of tort reform and maybe an increase in co-pays could mitigate the increases. Still would be a lot cheaper than more than a trillion dollar cost, along with the possible collapse of the entire U.S. health care system.

I have seen the figure of 45 million folks in the U.S. that do not have health insurance. I don’t believe that figure, but let’s say for the sake of argument that the figure is accurate. This is the reason I keep hearing from the proponents of the reform bill that we have to reform the entire health care system. This doesn't make sense - why not just address the basic problems.

I have an idea.

If Congress set aside 10 million dollars per person, that would more than pay for free health insurance for all of these uninsured individuals – for life. The price tag for this option would only be 450 million dollars, a lot less than a trillion dollar plus tax burden. Under this idea, a billion dollars would be enough to finance health care for 100 million people. Pretty cheap considering the reform bill cost, and it would not dismantle the current system that isn't completely broken.

Obama and Congress would never consider this suggestion. Why? Because it’s just too simple – and it would work – and it would be fairly cheap.

But I don’t believe that this is the whole story behind health care reform. Do you?

A bit of trivia: If you divide the trillion dollar first year price tag by the total number of U.S. residents, that comes out to $3.28 Million per person. Just give me my share and the govmint will never see or hear from me again - I'll cope.

UPDATE: check out what the Democrats are doing to ensure passage: CraigsList Ad.

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