A One Page Health Insurance Reform Bill ~ dnd

hcare_bill090617

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.

ps.

Here’s a summary and the full House bill for the interested:

http://www.stark.house.gov/images/stories/111/legislation/AAHCA/aahca-sectionbysection-071409.pdf

http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “A One Page Health Insurance Reform Bill ~ dnd

  1. Morning peeps.

    Good piece d, however I want to take exception something, I don’t think “dumping” high risk people in to the public plan is such a bad idea. I’ve always felt that one way to drop insurance rates is to open up Medicare to people 50 and up. It’s at that age where for most people health care costs really start to raise. If we opened up Medicare to people 50 and up and people with serious chronic illnesses we could drastically reduce costs to the rest of the population using private plans.

  2. TempeBev

    Perhaps this is one reason the republicans don’t have time to work on the healthcare bill.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/27/gop-rep-will-offer-resolu_n_245287.html

    As one comment says, there should be proof of sanity before being elected.

  3. dog's eye view

    Bev: clicked on your HuffPost link and liked this one a lot better.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-ridley/gates-says-what-a-lot-of_b_244571.html

  4. dog's eye view

    dnd: a sane and good start, and Brian’s right about Medicare coverage at 50 being an option for serious consideration. Catching disease and orthopedic trouble, etc. early could be a huge quality of life boost and maybe even reduction in overall costs benefit.

    I’m still interested on how you address the uninsured and those who work for very small businesses, are self-employed or not employed currently. (Second group is too often a subset of the first.)

  5. dnd

    Brian,
    Medicare is paid for with a (regressive) payroll tax, so those who achieve a cost reduction in health insurance premiums will, by necessity, see an increase in their payroll tax to pay for the expanded Medicare coverage.

    I think we should simplify things and get rid of Medicare and Medicaid. Fold it into the public plan with the premiums for those who qualify paid for by the government.

  6. “I think we should simplify things and get rid of Medicare and Medicaid. Fold it into the public plan with the premiums for those who qualify paid for by the government.”

    I have no problem with that, except I think it should be open to anyone who chooses and premiums could be included in payroll taxes fixed according to people’s ability to pay.

  7. dog's eye view

    Al Hunt’s Letter from Washington, from yesterday’s NY Times

    “What 1994 Can Tell Democrats on Health Care”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/27/us/27iht-letter.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

    It’s well worth a read. Don’t let encountering Bill Kristol in the opening sentence deter you from reading further.

    “….[the failure of a health care reform package] would almost certainly cost congressional Democrats seats in elections next year, striking especially hard at some of the same centrist Blue Dogs who are resisting a health care bill.

    Now those nervous Democrats are looking at polls showing declining support for Mr. Obama on health care and data heralded by the health insurance industry showing that most Americans are pleased with their coverage.

    Both are misleading. There is no Obamacare plan. The declining poll numbers arguably reflect the disarray in Congress and among Democrats; this is what happened in 1994.

    And most Americans are satisfied with their health insurance until they have to use it. …”

    ====

    Al Hunt, former Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief and Mr. Judy Woodruff in personal life, then describes his encounter with insurance plan “experts” when his son needed care.

    Courage, Democrats.

    Also: Hunt’s hit on a great meme, reporting that some Congresscritters may resist working through August, since it will interrupt their OWN family vacation plans.

  8. dnd

    dog,
    That Hunt piece was great. Those are two of the big lies on health insurance: 1) there is an “Obamacare” plan and 2) that people are happy with their health insurer. If people knew what they are effectively paying for their insurance (say via taxing benefits), they’d be pissed. If they knew how much time and money providers wasted dealing with the insurance companies, they’d be pissed. If they have to waste time fighting for legitimate claims, they’d be pissed.

  9. dnd

    I saw Sarah Palin’s speech yesterday to the faithful on the news this morning and it dawned on me that my one page health insurance left out a provision. It should cover mental health disorders…

    Yes, I’m being snarky, but it’s just a bit of literary license to point out that mental health should be covered.

  10. nannymm

    Great piece today, dnd. But it will never work. Congress can’t pass anything unless it’s wordy, ponderous and mostly incomprehensible.

  11. dnd

    “How about ya quit makin’ things up.”

    How dumb is Palin to get on the bad side of the press? Guaranteed to get her bad coverage.

    Or was this a calculated maneuver so that she can keep blaming the media and playing the victim card?

  12. dnd

    Ok, a couple more Palinisms, only because I can’t help myself.

    First, in her speech yesterday, she was deriding Hollywood because of their anti-hunting and anti-second amendment stance (huh?). The she said: “Tell Hollywood we eat, therefore we hunt.” Huh? If you want to establish a causal relationship between hunting and eating, shouldn’t it be: “We hunt, therefore we eat.”?

    This got me to thinking about her line: “Only dead fish go with the flow.” This is beautiful political symbolic prose, but think about it for a second. If fish always swim upstream, what would they do when they got to the headwaters source? Or more specific to the Alaskan salmon. They swim upstream to spawn. Once they spawn, they die. When the eggs hatch, they swim downstream (go with the flow) to mature. One other thing that happens with fish that don’t “go with the flow”:

    As a fisherman, I can tell you that fish go where the food is. You’d think her faithful in Alaska would know that…

  13. “How dumb is Palin”

    That’s a rhetorical question, yes?

  14. dnd

    I first heard her “quit making things up” comment I heard the “honorable profession” and I thought she was talking about politics, not the news media.

    Has she forgotten her lie about selling the state jet on ebay? About her “thanks but no thanks” on the stimulus money?

  15. eProf2

    Nice try, dnd. You tilted at windmills on a grander scale than I do inasmuch as you really believe a one to two page bill would make it through the Congress.

    This morning’s joke in the paper said: if pro means something positive does con mean Congress?

  16. dnd

    eprof2,
    Sarah Palin is tilting at windmills.

    Rockies are tilting at the NL wildcard!

  17. Cool Gov. Dean hosting Countdown for the next two nights

  18. eProf2

    And, the rest of us aren’t? She just happens to have a bigger media audience than we do here on BC.

    Go Rockies!

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