There’s been a bit of discussion about the size of the House’s tri-committee bill. Ditto the Kennedy-Dodd Bill in the Senate. To help them out I’ve drafted a one page bill that should be easy to understand and get the ball rolling on health insurance reform.
1. A public option. Two plans should be good. Three or four plans max. Confusing options are how for-profit insurance companies increase their profits and reduce care. The rates to providers for procedures won’t be set by Congress. A nation-wide panel of experts will decide what are reasonable protocols, with appropriate leeway, and what rates are fair and reasonable. Payments will be based on outcomes, not the number of procedures.
2. Private insurers can’t drop customers. And they can’t unreasonably jack up rates on high risk customers. This will prevent private insurers from dumping all the high risk customers to the public plan. They pulled that crap with Medicare.
3. Private insurers must cover pre-existing conditions so that consumers can shop around. Competition, it’s a good thing.
4. Provide tax incentives to clinics employing nurse-practitioners for routine medical care. Health “insurance” is really two things, insurance for accidents (breaking an arm, getting cancer, etc.) and pre-paid health care for routine stuff (throat swab, flu shot, etc.). Getting the routine stuff at a clinic would reduce health care costs, and hence health insurance costs.
Do these things and all the gunk in the House bill will take care of itself without the burden of making it law. And unlike the House bill, it will reduce costs.
This plan doesn’t cover the uninsured. That’s a different problem that needs to be addressed separately.
This is not a comprehensive bill, but it’s a good start. Roll with it for a while to see what needs tweaking.
Here’s a summary and the full House bill for the interested: