Yes, it was is important, very important, that well before 2016, GOP candidates outline a positive plan for health care. Seven debates and forty-five million ridiculous ‘gotcha’ questions later, not a single debate has focused on health care reform. Conservatives want a clear plan, a plan that changes an angry nation into a nation excited for specific, honestly conceived, and openly debated reforms that EVERYONE can believe in.
Below are bullet points from ex-Speaker Boehner’s address to the House on the eve of destruction, an address given just before the passage of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” on March 23, 2010. (A name that would make George Orwell proud.) In typical Boehner fashion, the ideas were not nearly radical enough. They are mere platitudes piously mouthed, almost in jest, as crumbs for the satisfaction of the mob (that’s us). They generally glittered like shiny little pills. They were slick slogans: dithering words full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.
Ex-Speaker Boehner’s points are in italicized type below. The addendum are specifics, specifics lacking from most GOP plans, addendum that make Conservative change out of RINO nothings. Now, some of the addendum added below were inspired by bills that received no debate and less media coverage. Nonetheless, before 2016, let’s give them till March. Conservative candidates, especially Trump, must go much farther than the RINO’s ever dreamt in their most “radical” fits of fanaticism. Sons of liberty, we better get after it.
Number one: let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.
This very general, RINO formulation has been supported by all the candidates. Rubio talks about changing insurance regulations and tax credits for purchasing insurance, but it’s still very vague.
Addendum 1: Every variety of health care coverage must also be permitted. Perhaps committed “bachelors” are not interested in gynecological services. Contracts should exist for a variety of time periods. The typical one year time periods should not be the only contracts available. No candidate has taken this position.
Addendum 2: Furthermore, since, at least in California, crack cocaine will surely become legal, risk pools should involve participant reviews. The percentage of needle sharing drug addicts found in various career fields (such as education) ought to be factored into costs. Although no health insurance corporation should be allowed to mandate this, random drug and urine tests ought to be permitted in accordance with pricing reductions the market will bear. No candidate has taken this position.
Number two: allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.
Addendum 1: Let church groups and denominations form risk pools across state lines, on a federal level. Studies show that those that pray, live longer, and that monogamous church goers live even longer. This is a sure way to avoid insurers that practice the outrages of refusing insurance to those with pre-existing conditions or dropping those who become ill with long term illnesses. Would you continue to attend your church if they practiced such abominations? No Candidate has taken this position.
Addendum 2: Although McCain got Bush foot-in-mouth disease while trying to explain his logic on this in ’08, it wasn’t bad: Corporations should be given tax write-offs equal to what they would have received for providing insurance to employees WHEN the employee accepts the employer’s optional offer of a “health care savings account.” The health care savings account would also be “tax free.” Ben Carson has discussed health care savings accounts as the salient feature of his plan, but he hasn’t mentioned taxation. Rubio has adopted a plan to give tax credits to individuals as a way to purchase health care insurance.
Number three: give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.
Addendum 1: At the state level let doctors form organizations, like law firms, but with additional powers. The additional powers will include the legal right to apprentice college students through scholarship/internship programs, binding indentures (as in ROTC and military programs) and the right to certify, without state of federal
regulation, such indentured students to provide health care at various levels of supervision. This Health Provider Physician firm may have these rights ONLY IF they make a list of services provided with “generic” pricing [pricing without complications, including typical procedures] AND ONLY IF they issue “insurance” utilizing approved accounting and risk management software. This would be sort of an “all you can eat buffet” pricing mechanism. [Bye-bye middle men… Bye-bye federal bureaucracies.]
Additionally, this new insurance model would change the paradigm. Doctors would have an incentive to keep patients healthy and happy so they keep bringing their money to the firm. Yet, they would be motivated to do so with as few procedures as possible. Additionally, they would be motivated to serve as many patients as possible as quickly as possible. It might actually pay to miss a few rounds of golf. No Candidate has taken this position.
Number four: end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it’s good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.
Addendum 1: At the state level, let doctors forming provider pools include arbitration language with limits on lawsuits. This contract language can be part of risk pool pricing. Federal governments may rate each kind of contract as a consumer service, but they may not legislate concerning the language except to demand that a variety of legal options are presented.
This was all Boehner had to offer in 2010. Now six years have passed, and insurance companies have become even greater crony capitalists. Even worse, the regulatory burdens on hospitals have closed many doors. We’ll need far greater resolve going forward. One possibility is to develop national licensure standards in addition to the state standards for licensure. In having clear national goals for excellence in medicine, medical colleges can take a clearer aim at common standards, and America can increase the supply of excellent medical professionals. An increase in supply would then decrease demand and lower prices. In exchange, a young person’s medical training might be reduced by an increased supply of medical programs. If the United States could produce as many doctors as lawyers, we’d have a far healthier future.
Finally, the GOP needs to decide whether or not “we” are going to cover everyone. Obamacare was supposed to do that. Instead, it simply increased regulatory burdens, decreased coverage for workers, and increased coverage for non-workers. However, it has not come close to covering everyone and is even farther from covering everyone adequately. Lowering costs is the first step. Perhaps, a combinations of health care vouchers and tax credits may be the best answer for our poorest. Great wealth, of course, is the true answer. America will do far better paying their doctors with oil and gas revenue than it will with pizza’s and Frappuccino. Trump has alluded to fair trade as a way to raise revenue to pay for Medicare and Medicaid.