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Conservative health reforms. what do you think?

I wrote up this huge response to some liberal's health reform question only to find the question was removed before I could post my answer! D'oh! I decided to post it as a question instead.

I'm so sick of ignorant liberals who don't know what they're talking about claiming that Republicans have no ideas for health care reform.

Here they are for like the gazzillionth time.

1) Open up competition by removing laws that restrict interstate insurance sales. There are 1300+ health insurance companies in America, but if you live in California, for instance, you can only purchase insurance from 6 of them due to state law. Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce and should exercise that power. If Obama wants more competition, why doesn't he support this reform?

2) De-regulate health insurance so insurers can sell a wider variety of policies. Right now, every state has strict guidelines on what care insurance has to cover. As a result young healthy people can't buy high deductible, catastrophic only policies. Millions of the uninsured are just those kind of people who don't want comprehensive insurance. Having catastrophic only coverage means you simply pay out of pocket for routine stuff like doctors visits and routine prescription drugs.

3) Expansion and improvement of health savings accounts, wherein people can use the saved money to either pay for health care costs directly, or buy insurance of their choice, rather than choosing only among the insurance provided by their employer. This would also sever the tie between employers and insurance, as the employee would own the policy and keep it if they leave their job. The HSA would add a free market element to health care purchase decisions that would lower costs by making health care users into prudent buyers..

4) Medical malpractice tort reform. By some estimates, the annual cost of MM liability insurance, and defensive medicine practiced to avoid lawsuits costs as much as $200 Billion a year. One suggestion is to set up a medical malpractice arbitration fund paid for by a tax on insurers. Potential claims would be adjudicated by medical experts, and law suits against health providers would be illegal. The current system is basically a jackpot system that funnels a lot of money to trial lawyers.

5) Make all health care expenses tax deductible, not just when paid for by an employer, when they exceed 7.5% of AGI.

6) Administer govt run health plans like medicaid and medicare through tax credits that allow seniors and poor to go out and buy their own policy rather than being stuck with the one policy offered by government. For those of you in Rio Linda, a tax credit is different from a tax deduction. A tax credit is available to anyone, not just those who owe taxes.

My suggestions, don't cost anything, in fact they save money and get more people covered. One problem with health insurance, be it government or private is that a third party is paying for your care, so you have no incentive to shop around for a good deal, and providers have no incentive to become efficient. Just look at the cost of treatments like laser eye surgery that isn't covered by insurance. That surgery has improved, and come down in cost 80-90%. Had it been covered by insurance it probably would still cost $5000 per eye.

Obama and Democrats don't support any of these reforms. Not one of them. How dare liberals say that it is Republicans who don't want real reform. It is Democrats and Obama who simply want to expand the status quo.

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    All good ideas.

    I have a problem however with your righteous indignation at the end. I hate to live in the past, but where were all these great ideas during the last 8 years?

    Call our president whatever you want, but maybe it takes a "socialist" to bring healthcare reform into focus. At least he's prioritizing it, which is a lot more than I can say for his opposition. When their backs are against the wall, they suddenly come up with great ideas...

    I don't care who gets credit for any reforms, as long as we get some.



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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Okay-are the GOP ready, willing and able to sign a bill before the end of the year?

    Do they realize that the average good insurance for a family of 4 is $18,000 a year, not $5,000?

    "Make all health care expenses tax deductible, not just when paid for by an employer, when they exceed 7.5% of AGI." Wrong. They all ready are tax deductible, co-pays etc.

    You are wrong on #6 too, my friend. Seniors can buy many different health ins options to add to their medicare. I am in the industry.

    You forgot about preexisting conditions. So, the small business owner who had cancer 5 years ago could still be denied, or charged an astronomical fee for insurance.

    Republicans DO NOT want reform. They want to state petty things like "give them a $5,000 tax break a year" to make it look like they acknowledge there needs to be reform, but if it were up to them, nothing would be changed.

    Source(s): Nice try though.
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  • Noah H
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    All those suggestions still don't get at the root of the problem. Private health insurance companies charge way too much for the service they provide because they have a high overhead. To maintain profits they have to be selective about who they insure, and this leaves too many people out, and those people are dealt with with public money....the 'taxes' that the GOP has such a problem with. Private insurance companies charge forty three cents per premium dollar to cover overhead and profit. Medicare charges three cents per premium dollar for the same thing. If 'competition' would lower costs that would be nice, but lowering costs wouldn't lower the price to the customer. Lower overhead would mean more profit per premium dollar. Certainly folks should be able to write off ALL medical expenses, but should apply to Medicare as well....lowing the cost per insured that much more. Medicare isn't 'free' as some people believe Medicare Part A and Part B costs about $1500 a year per insured, but it's WAY less than ANY commercial insurance. The republicans are fronting for the health insurance industry that doesn't want to lose its cash cow. Understandable, but their business is causing way too many people way too much expense and grief. It's time for something new and that can only be some form of Medicare for all. Times have changed, somehow the republicans don't see that.

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  • madart
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The first two suggestions would only allow more people to buy insurance that they will find out is woefully inadequate when they really need it.

    Number 3,4, and 5 are nice for people who already have coverage but don't help the uninsured. But I do like like #5 and it makes good sense.

    But your plan does nothing for people who cannot buy affordable insurance, people who have had life saving procedures denied, been dropped when they get sick....

    The real issue is that Health Care will always be over priced as long as it is for profit. We should be looking at single payer. Unfortunately, that was long ago off the table. Obama's plan may end up with a public option than hopefully control costs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    We have been over why these ideas don't work. They don't lower prices. They don't protect people who are having trouble getting insurance to follow their contracts. They don't help people who don't have access to the private market now.

    1) Health care companies can already do this. They just have to respects laws in other states.

    2) Regulation of health care protects people from being denied by health insurance companies. We already have enough problems with health insurance companies denying care illegally causing delays in treatment that cause death.

    If a large number of people switch to catastrophic only, then health care will decline, not improve when people suddenly find themselves with medical bills they can't pay.

    3) HSA are only a tax break. People have to have money to put in them. Almost everyone who can use an HSA or similar account doesn't need it. Its benefits aren't large enough to make any difference.

    4) Medical Malpractice reform has been carried out in multiple states already. The number of preventative tests being ran did not decline in any of those states. Instead better hospital administration due to improvements in the system caused the number of lawsuits to decline.

    It turns out the primary reason to run lots of diagnostic tests is to help save lives. And allows them to avoid procedures that are more likely to cause lawsuits.

    5) Redundant of HSA or similar accounts. Expand their use and this is already achieved. Or do this and get rid of the expense of HSA like accounts and regulation.

    6)Medicaid and medicare is already the most efficient insurance system in the US. Replacing it with the private market would increase costs. Medicare operates at medical costs plus 3%. Private health insurance operates at medical costs plus 15 to 20 percent.

    Still none of these will solve any of the problems that people who can't get health care have.

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  • 4 years ago

    First, I'm going to have to call you on your mindless repetition of left wing lies and propaganda. "exploitative industry that puts profits over people's lives" - The US health insurance industry has an average profit margin of 2.2%, which makes health insurance the 87th most profitable industry in the US. I bet that's not something that liberals went around telling people.. was it? - US private insurance companies were LESS likely to reject expensive treatments than either medicare or Universal health care systems from either Europe or Canada. Again, not something that liberals told you about.. huh? They're not exactly the evil, greedy bastards liberals make them out to be. What is the conservative plan? For starters, we need to look at why the cost of health care is so high. It's not insurance companies ( see the 2.2% profit margin ). Obamacare does NOTHING to reduce the cost of health care, nothing. All it is doing is shifting the burden of paying for it. Depending on which estimate you go with 10% to 25% of the cost of health care is directly related to lawsuits. Almost all of the money from these lawsuits ends up in the pockets of lawyers, not anybody who actually suffered any medical malpractice. You want a place to start.. this is it. Cap malpractice lawsuits and/or cap the amount a lawyer can make from one of them. Liberals flat out refused to

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is nothing here that will solve the health care crisis, and some like #1 are downright dangerous. All that will lead to is a race to the bottom where all insurance companies will relocate to the state that gives them the best opportunity to shaft people and reap bigger profits. Why do "states rights" republicans want to take away the right of state insurance regulators to control insurance quality in their states?

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  • 1 decade ago

    If you was paying attention and NOT scared to go to Obama's Health Care Reform website you would know

    Obama has already put HALF of those suggestions into his version of Health Care Reform

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ok got it. You said what you wanted to say.

    But, since those ideas wouldn't fix the real problems, they are irrelevant.

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