Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My take on healthcare reform

Given that it appears that no one knows exactly what is in the final healthcare reform bill it is a little presumptuous of me to analyze the bill, but that's why they pay me the big bucks :)

First, a little caveat - I voted for President Obama and I am a supporter of universal health care. If that makes me a Marxist, socialist, commie, pinko, lib or whatever term they are using in Glenbeckistan today, sobeit.

Here's what I know - health care in our country is broken.

* costs are out of control
* we fail to address end of life issues
* we treat every ailment with a pill or a surgery
* the baby boomers will bankrupt the nation with their healthcare needs.

Healthcare reform is much like education reform. It is clear that the single greatest predictor of educational success is parental involvement and support. However, kids continue to struggle as parents can't be bothered to turn off American Idol long enough to ask if Jack is still disrupting the class or how her teacher is handling reducing fractions. The single greatest "reform" we could undertake as a nation would be to take ownership of our own personal health and fitness and stop asking the government to save me when my body breaks down at 36 because I have a BMI of 34 and I still smoke 2 packs a day. However, that won't happen so.........

From what I've seen of the Senate bill none of the hard choices have been made. We continue to kick the can down the road hoping that by the next Congress and President will have the fortitude to deal with truths that we can't handle.

At least the House adequately addressed the issue of paying for healthcare reform through higher taxes. The Senate appears to have no backbone and thus, attempts to pay for some of the cost through fees on services and medical equipment while deferring major taxes on some health plans for 10 years. When it comes to implement this part of the "reform" to cover the costs, a whole new crop of knuckleheads will be in Washington getting ready for another election cycle so you can bet the tax will be repealed.

In essence we have a massive unfunded mandate that will increase coverage for some but not all citizens. In the best of times, this might have been an interesting idea. Now is not the time to be reaching for expensive partial solutions. Again, this plan would probably improve the healthcare situation for millions of Americans and I could see the value of this plan if it was funded.

Scrap this plan and come back in December of 2010 with medicare for everyone funded by tax hikes.

Unpopular? Yes.

Is it the only real chance at saving our healthcare system? You betcha!

Just one man's opinion.


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