Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Band-Aid for Healthcare

I have not spent a bunch of time rallying either for or against the healthcare debate, mostly because what I say or think will not make one iota of difference anyway. So why get a full head of steam built up when there is no train on the track? Did I just channel Will Rogers? No, probably not since there are no steam trains on tracks any longer, ergo the analogy just does not make any sense?

Well that is EXACTLY how I feel about this healthcare bill as written. At 2800 pages long, it is just too much for anyone to get their proverbial arms around, much less actually digest. It confounds me as to what the big attraction is in this bill that makes grown politicians throw caution to the wind along with their potentially long political careers just to cram all of this through RIGHT NOW? Doesn’t that make anyone else just a little bit curious and NERVOUS? Just what flavor of Kool-aid are these folks drinking?

Now I completely understand the President’s reluctance in throwing the WHOLE bill out and starting over. Even if I were naïve enough to believe that Congress really will put the interests of the people FIRST (THIS TIME) over their individual party agendas, I personally don’t think another year of debate will change much? It’s clear that both sides are more interested in gaining a political advantage over each other than solving the basic issues and that drives the public crazy. We know these people are wasting our time, money and worse yet they SUPPOSEDLY work for us? The reality though is that this is AMERICA, not Europe and MOST Americans are not interested in giving up their world-class healthcare availability to emulate inadequate socialized medicine models despite the President's good intentions.

In general I’ll admit it! I am stupid and impatient when it comes to reams of legal descriptions, covenants, and provisions on just about ANYTHING. So why not make it easy on me and anyone like me when these guys go to write a ‘GOOD’ healthcare bill? Quit trying to be all things to all people and bankrupting the system in the process. Take things slow – test a couple of ideas and fine tune the balance to get the BEST answer rather than any old answer. My happy band-aid fix for healthcare is to simply split it up into small parts and let the light of day expose the TRUTH on whatever it is that is being pushed upon us.

If Congress is sincere and they truly can come together on sensible provisions for health plan portability or the elimination of pre-existing condition cut-offs; then VOTE on those pieces now. Put off the provisions that cause the Unions to go nuts, the insurance companies to fight, and the rest of us not to trust anybody that sets foot in Washington.

In the end the REAL problem with healthcare access is ALL cost driven – not features! If you get rid of the obscene LIABILITY exposure for Doctors, Hospitals, medical equipment and drug manufacturers, then you will be a step closer to a workable solution. The government could set strictly DEFINED limited liability schedules and enforce them. No more multi-million dollar judgments for a severed toe or similar misfortune. People would still be protected adequately from abuse or malpractice, but no more re-distribution of wealth in the hundreds of millions to a few lawyers at the expense of the many.

Congress need not concentrate on EXTENDING access if it focuses on driving down COSTS including legal liabilities. As costs lower, and real market-driven solutions take hold, the ideal of increased access and universal coverage will soon become closer to a reality. Will Rogers DID say “People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument“ so quit bickering over thousands of pages of ‘gotchas’ and legal ‘twists’ for special interest groups. Divide the legislation up into easy-to-understand and small digestible chunks and give them an Up or Down vote. Remember It’s the U.S. taxpayer who is footing the bill, so please try using a band-aid FIRST to fix healthcare BEFORE subjecting all Americans to a Socialist European 'BODY CAST'!

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