Sunday, August 23, 2009

Four Steps and Three Sentences to Health Care Reform

Congress has produced a 2000 page mish-mosh that is supposed to be a plan for health care--pardon me, health insurance--reform. It is an incomprehensible monstrosity. Incomprehensible to me; incomprehensible to Ms. Pelosi; incomprehensible to every member of the House of Representatives; incomprehensible to Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer; incomprehensible to the President. I maintain that there is no one, but no one, who comprehends it. There is no group or committee, or even the Congress as a whole, that comprehends it. They are like "All the King's horses and all the King's men" trying to reassemble Humpty Dumpty when it comes to explaining this legislation. Is it any wonder that most Americans have turned against them?

I, on the other hand, can improve our health care system and save money in four simple steps that would require three sentences of legislation.

Step 1: Tort Reform.
Sentence 1: In malpractice cases, non-economic (aka punitive) damages are capped at $250,000.

Step 2: Equalize tax treatment of health insurance premiums.
Sentence 2: All health insurance premiums (not just for employer sponsored plans) are deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Step 3: National health insurance market.
Sentence 3: Health insurance may be purchased across state lines.

Step 4: Close our borders to illegal immigration.
Sentence 4: None required. This is already an obligation of our government. Indeed, protection of borders in an inherent obligation of any nation, and does not require legislation.
All it requires is for the Congress and the President to man up, to step up to the plate, to grow a pair, if you get my drift.

The rationale for each of these steps is obvious, and does not require explanation for most Americans. If you are a member of Congress and do not understand, please email me with your questions, and I will have my staff, or a student from the local middle school, send you an explanation.


RightKlik said...

Beautiful. Government should do its job on the border...otherwise just get out of the way.

Desman said...

4 steps. spread the word.

The Conservative Lady said...

Your 4 steps make too much sense. The Congress would never go for it.

Anonymous said...

1. Tort reform isn't that big of a deal law suits account for only 2.5% of medical costs and to the best of my knowledge there have been no studies that link so called defensive medicine to rising medical costs. Now 2.5% is a significant number and not one to poo poo, but at the same time we need to be careful, first reasonable tort reform would reduce the percentage, not remove it. Second malpractice law suits provide an evolutionary mechanism to ensure that the best doctors stay in but the worst doctors are driven out.

Second, I'd be even more careful about reforming non-medical malpractice torts. Frequently it can be proven that a large company knowingly does wrong, in these cases even if they are successfully sued tort reform would make it impossible to alter the profitable but damaging behavior. Perhaps you could make a case that such issues should be adjudicated by new laws but I think a post hoc trial method leads to a less byzantine legal code that is ultimately more efficient.

For two and three I strongly agree. For four, I think closing our borders is actually a costly government program. Illegal immigrants do raise our medical costs but they lower many other costs. I almost think of it like speeding. Many people exceed the speed limit but catching and punishing everyone who speeds is more costly to the society than any benefit it would yield.

Desman said...

Thank you for your thoughtful input, anonymous. However, I was not writing about non-medical torts.

Lucien said...

@The Conservative Lady: I agree with you. I think they won't go! But, I hope Government do its job on the line.