Monday, August 17, 2009

What Reform?

With President Obama now backing away from the "public" option of providing health insurance through the federal government, I have to ask the question: Can the bill proposed, and as tweaked by the Senate, even be called health care reform?

No. Because in my opinion, it couldn't be called reform beforehand, either.

I've had a few discussions with a few people about this, and, other disagreements aside, the one principal point that we agree on is that this bill and its iterations are not reform at all -- the bills merely represent an extension of existing government benefits to more than ahve been elibible for them before.

That's not solving the problem; that's extending a nice white picket fence further around the bullpen when you really need barbed wire to keep the bulls from getting out.

We need a plan that controls costs, not one that throws more money at what are already outrageous costs for health care. How that would be done, though, that's the trouble. I don't think government subsidies are the answer -- because they certainly don't work from the private point of view, either. Private health insurance isn't anything more than a subsidy that we pay for. We pay a certain amount and get discounted (or free) services, if we toss enough money into the pot. But the costs are the same, no matter if it's us paying a private ensurer or the government subsidizing everything in sight.

So what's the solution? How do we make costs go down? I don't know. I know doctors and other health professionals pay a lot for their education. I know they have their own bills to pay. But there's got to be some give-and-take, some wiggle room in there somewhere, where costs can be cut and the savings passed on to those who need the services.


Brian said...

My guess is we would have some disagreements on this issue. That being said take a look at his article. Maybe you've seen it but I think he has some interesting ideas that are worth exploring.

Mister Fweem said...

I tried to read the link, but I kept getting as WSJ error page. But as far as leath care goes, I'm sure there aren't two people on the planet who see eye to eye on a lot of this stuff. It's a big problem.