Health Care Reform I Support
There is no question that our health care system needs reform. Unfortunately, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Harry Reid have had no intention of working with Republicans towards health care reform we all can agree on. However, my colleagues and I have put forth a proposal that we believe will effectively reform health care for all Americans. The reform measure that I think is best has been introduced by Congressmen Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA) called the Patient's Choice Act. It is directionally opposite of the plan proposed by President Obama and his cohorts. Instead of putting government in charge of the system, this plan largely removes the failed portions of government involvement, and puts each individual in charge of their own health care plan and decisions. Here are some bullet points on this plan:
- The plan eliminates the employer deduction for health insurance and the system of direct payment of health costs under Medicare and Medicaid, and replaces them with a $2,300 refundable tax credit per individual which must be used for health care costs. Therefore, everyone, whether they are young, senior citizens, or indigent, will be covered under a private plan of their own choosing. And you no longer have to get the plan from your employer, but will have a number of options to keep the same plan as you move from job to job. Senior plans would be further subsidized by the Medicare system but still allowed to choose their own plan.
- Currently as a Californian, you can only buy a health insurance plan approved by the state of California. Under the Patient's Choice Act, you would be free to pick from any of the over 1,300 medical insurance plans offered around the country. State based insurance exchanges will make sure that you cannot be cancelled for illness, and that pre-existing conditions will not interfere with our choices, in the same way that fire insurance is available to those who live in high fire risk areas today.
- Basically this legislation will allow unlimited contributions to a health savings account so that Americans can save for their own health care costs on a pre-tax basis.
- Litigation costs are a huge driver of medical costs. This bill would replace the court system with state based dispute resolution mechanisms for most claims, thereby saving a great deal of money in the system.
- Creates transparency through a public/private partnership to disclose cost, quality, and outcomes of various plans and providers.
- It also instills accountability into existing federal wellness and prevention programs to encourage more disease prevention activities and thereby lower costs.
- This bill will cost a grand total of $0 and will increase taxes by $0. It is revenue and cost neutral to the current system.
Click Here for the text of H.R. 3200
Click Here for the text of the Pelosi Health Care Bill
**Updated October 30, 2009**
Below are some of my links regarding health care:
A Right to Health Care? - OCRegister Editorial
Laptop Report - Socialized Medicine and the Patients Choice Act - Monday July 20, 2009
President Obama has Mislead us on Healthcare - The Greeneyeshade Blog
Laptop Report - The Perils of Socialized Medicine - Monday July 27, 2009
Community Commentary - Health Plan Won't Help Americans - Daily Pilot
Confounding America's Ideals - Washington Times Editorial
Laptop Report - Healthcare Stalling and Halloween - October 30, 2009
Laptop Report - Pelosi Healthcare Update - November 2, 2009
Laptop Report - Pelosi Healthcare Update - November 4, 2009
Laptop Report - Healthcare House Call - November 5, 2009
Government Takeover of Health Care
The proposals we have seen from President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Harry Reid on healthcare reform represent some of the worst public policy I have seen in my entire public career. Socialized health care that raises taxes, rations care and increases costs isn't what most Americans have in mind. I stand in firm opposition to the current government-run healthcare proposal and will work diligently to ensure that Americans are not saddled with a system that will ultimately reduce the quality of your healthcare, raises taxes, and hamper the relationship between doctors and their patients.
On the whole, we will have government-only medicine with the compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the DMV. Below I have included a graph which doesn't need any explanation, except for that this socialized health care plan will be a mess.
Here is a quick run-down of some of the provisions from Speaker Pelosi's H.R. 3692:
Creation of a government-run health plan that experts say would result in up to 114 million Americans losing their current coverage;
Nearly half a trillion dollars in tax increases on certain income filers, a majority of whom are small businesses—and $729.5 billion in tax increases overall;
Insurance regulations that would raise costs for nearly all Americans, particularly young Americans, and confine choice of plans to those approved by a board of bureaucrats;
New price controls on health insurance companies that provide perverse incentives to keep individuals sick rather than managing chronic disease, while impeding patient access to important services just because those services do not provide a direct clinical benefit;
Additional federal mandates that would significantly erode the flexibility currently provided to employers—and could result in firms dropping coverage;
Liability “reforms” intended to ensure trial lawyers do not have their compensation reduced, rather than meaningful changes that would reduce the cost of health care by eliminating wasteful defensive medicine practices;
Establishment of a bureaucrat-run health Exchange that would abolish the private market for individual insurance outside the Exchange—and could evolve into a single-payer approach due to the Exchange’s ability to cannibalize existing employer plans;
Creation of a new government board, the “Health Benefits Advisory Committee,” that would empower federal bureaucrats to impose new mandates on individuals and insurance carriers;
Taxation of individuals who do not purchase a level of health coverage that meets the dictates of a board of bureaucrats—including those who cannot afford the coverage options provided;
New, job-killing taxes—$135 billion worth—on employers who cannot afford to provide their workers health insurance, resulting in up to 5.5 million lost jobs, according to a model developed by President Obama’s chief economic advisor;
Penalties as high as $500,000 on employers who make honest mistakes when filing paperwork with the government health board—which would likely dissuade businesses from continuing to provide coverage, increasing enrollment in the bureaucrat-run Exchange;
Arbitrary and harmful cuts to Medicare Advantage plans that would result in millions of seniors losing their current health coverage; and
Expanded price controls on pharmaceutical products that would discourage companies from producing life-saving breakthrough treatments.
Here is a quick run-down of some of the most frightening provisions of H.R. 3200:
The bill raises taxes on "the rich" but also creates new taxes on small businesses and individuals who do not have health insurance. After the tax increase, the top tax rate for a resident of California will be over 57%, which makes it the highest income tax rate in the industrialized world (Sweden is 56%).
It will increase the overall cost of health care in the country by trillions of dollars. Even the Democrat appointed head of the Congressional Budget Office had to admit that there is no evidence that the plan will lower the cost of health care as the President has asserted.
Current estimates project that there will be nearly 5 million additional jobs that will disappear nationwide, as a result of the plan.
As many as 114 million Americans could lose their current coverage under the bill, according to non-partisan actuaries at the Lewin Group.
Doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers will be paid even less than they are currently being paid by Medicare or Medicaid, which will bankrupt many.
A government bureaucracy will determine whether you are allowed to receive treatments or medicines, and sometimes, as happens in other socialized countries, whether you are allowed to live or die.
It does not deal with the bankruptcy of the Medicare system or Social Security so those problems continue, but the taxes said to balance them will have been spent on this.
It makes it illegal to purchase your own private health insurance after the bill is enacted and will in effect, transition virtually everyone to government care within 5 years. See Section 102 on page 16 of H.R. 3200
And, it will not even cover everybody with insurance, so it won't even fix what it is supposed to fix.