A 1-In-100 Blogger: August 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Newt Gingrich Offers Bold Solutions to Better Healthcare

What's in the healthcare bill? If you haven't had a chance to skim through the original health care bill index, I recommend you do so; the linked site offers a line-by-line analysis.

During a recent Fox News segment on Bill O'Reilly, Newt Gingrich pointed out that the next several weeks offer a critical opportunity for the American people to express their First Amendment Rights on health reform. Regardless of one's political affiliation, everyone is entitled to an opinion regarding something so personal and so critical to their individual future and the future of this nation.

America still seeks solutions. Alternatives to universal health care, solutions that are going to work.

In Washington state, Steve Beren, who's running for Congress in Washington state's seventh CD, has expressed that a priority in health care reform is putting individuals in more direct contact with providers, reducing the role of insurance companies, government regulators, employers, and attorneys. He also believes there should be increased competition among health insurance carriers to provide consumers more options and more variation in benefit plans. It seems the core belief among most Americans right now is that we all want coverage that is less expensive, based on individual need, and with more choices and options for the health care consumers.
We don't want a government-run health care system that would lead to massive tax increases, and more increases in bureaucracy and delays (which would drive up costs, and decrease the quality of care). We don't want a socialized government program that would drive some of the best medical professionals out of the field, and in turn discourage talented young people from entering the field due to a lack of incentive. We don't want a reduction in services offered, nor do we remotely desire the rationing of health care services - especially on the poor and the elderly. We don't want the government making any medical or health care decisions for us, we want to keep our liberty.

Newt Gingrich has worked extensively on the issues of health and healthcare, devoting the majority of his time to advocating a transformation of the entire system. Mentioned during an interview with Bill O'Reilly, Newt believes there's an opportunity for Republicans to come together with a really bold, solid alternative for health care reform. While the Democrats continue to push for socialized, universal health care in America - the Republican party can act quickly and come up with something to rally around in September. The next 45 days are crucial.

Gingrich wants to help create a system that delivers more choices of higher quality health care at lower cost. His alternative to Obama's plan has outlined the following six straightforward steps to better healthcare:
1. Stop Paying the Crooks
2. Move from a Paper-based to an Electronic Health System
3. Tax Reform
4. Create a Health-Based Health System
5. Reform Our Health Justice System
6. Invest in Scientific Research and Breakthroughs

The last thing we need for September is a continuation of Obama's plan that raises taxes and eliminates jobs. The best plan will aim to stop fraud first and boost the economy at the same time. Newt's bold solutions become a pro jobs, pro growth plan for health care reform, a solid alternative to universal health care.

Updated to add a message for Congress, from Lloyd Marcus, the Tea Party Anthem guy. 'Feet to the Fire!'

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How To Fix A Broken Garage Door, Health Care

A husband and wife find themselves in a bit of a difficult situation. They wake up one morning, finish their early routine, and at some point either the man or woman went to the garage - attempting to open the garage door. But it doesn't open. Something is wrong. Whether you're a handyman, mechanic, carpenter, builder, economist, electrical engineer, stock market guru, or in general just an American citizen who knows what a broken garage door looks like, one thing is clear: if the garage door is broken, then it must be fixed.

So how do you repair a garage door that's broken? The husband and wife know that it must be one of five problems: it could be an issue with a faulty Spring, a problematic Track, a broken Mounting Bracket, something wrong with the Hinge, or quite possibly the Roller. As it turns out, there's an issue with the Track. Neither the husband or the wife know how to fix it, so they seek help.

They call up and gather all of their closest neighborhood friends into a room and search for answers. One of the women in the room blasts, "The track - it's out to lunch!" Another man in front yells, "We must reform this garage door!" Staring at each other, still unsure of the quickest and easiest solution to the problem, a quiet, tall and handsom man in the back of the room raises his voice for the first time.
"I know! I've got it. Let's tear the whole house down. Your house is faulty. So let's start from scratch, I can bulldoze the entire house down and rebuild it for you. But I want everyone here to pitch in money to help me pay for it - I'll fix it," said Barack Obama.

The same problem-solution is being floated around on the front lines to solve a nationwide issue of health care. We know what the problem is: the need for fraud and tort reform, which if resolved would dramatically lower the cost of health care coverage for everyone. The next includes a need to resolve the problem that--for unknown reasons--the cost of health care insurance is tied to your job.

According to Barack Obama, both problems have the "easiest" solution. Tear the whole thing down and socialize it. Start from scratch. Make it everyone's problem.

I'm definitely no expert in health care or the insurance industry - you decide if what is written here makes more sense than Obama's plan. So let's discuss a more rational approach to fixing America's health care problem. Starting with the first. Tort Reform must be legislated to make it significantly more difficult for the lawsuits to be approved. Barack Obama himself has said, "Efforts to cut costs and increase coverage couldn’t succeed without freeing doctors from the fear of lawsuits." If you don't protect doctors from outrageous $40 million lawsuits over a broken finger mishap, generally speaking, what happens? Well, the doctor will do test-after-test to assure themselves that they are doing what is best and safest for the patient; in turn, increasing costs. It's a no-brainer.

I'm not an expert, but rather than tear the whole system down and start from scratch - why not just fix the problem? It's the track to the garage door, stupid. Not the whole house!

Another problem: why is the cost to receive health care coverage directly tied to your job? For instance, and I'm sure many of you have noticed this, if you work for a company and, for example, use COBRA insurance - why is it that the company you work for might be charged only $400-600 a month to provide you the benefits of health insurance, but if the unfortunate occurs and you lose your job, to be provided with the same exact insurance coverage it will cost you $1,200? Nothing changed but your job situation. You aren't any greater or less of a risk to the insurance company, but for unknown reasons if you no longer have a job you get charged over twice as much as the company you previously worked for was charged. Something about that doesn't sound right; either I'm wrong or the insurance company is wrong. If the insurance company is wrong - legislation can fix it.

"But how," Obama might ask.

Why not make health insurance more like car insurance? With car insurance, you can move to a new home or state, you can buy a new car, and yet you don’t have to change insurance companies; however, based on where you live or the car you drive (risk), that's the key indicator that will change the cost of your insurance policy. So why can't legislation be put into place for health insurance in a similar way that it is for car insurance?

In this solution, we don't have the government muddling around in a private industry that relies on innovation and excellence - efficiency. The government has no business competing against the private health care industry - especially when lives are at stake. It's another no-brainer that the government will win this competitive thrill for power because the United States government is NOT a business. It isn't designed to run for profits so it will crush the private health care industry.

Wipe that smirk off your face, Obama. You think this is funny?

You know exactly what I'm talking about. Don't you?

It's called a single payer universal health care plan, and it stinks.

Instead, what the government should do is their job. Legislate something! Help the American citizens by enforcing laws on private insurance companies, similarly seen for car insurance. That's a problem and a solution worth attempting.

Or we could do it another way; we know there are approximately 10 to 20 million American citizens without health care and who do not have a choice due to the cost. From the over 300 million American citizens in the country, I'll assume 10-15% want health care but cannot afford it. The solution? As doctor Barack Obama would say, just tear the whole system down and start from scratch. Forget legislation and tort reform laws - let's socialize the problems and make it everyone’s issue.

Obama, stop attacking doctors who work in the private industry. You need to wake up and take a look at what real problem is - and how foolish the solution is that you're offering. Like, today. As Albert Einstein would say, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."