Monday, August 17, 2009

Constructive Opposition

No one should allow themselves to be fooled into thinking that all of the opposition to the current health care reform process simply wants things to remain as they are. Still, it's nice to be reminded of this from time to time.

Dad29 recently argued for dumping HR 3200 altogether, but this doesn't mean no reform. Here are his top two:
And reforms are needed. So the Administration should focus on the Necessary Things:

1) Devise a method to accomodate pre-existing conditions;

2) Ensure portability;

He's got five more, so go read the whole thing.

My own thinking is that the current system is unsustainable in the medium term. This means that even if the current effort fails, the time until we are back at it will be shorter than the space between Clinton's effort and this one.

The effort ought to focus on universal catastrophic coverage. This could have the triple benefit of providing medical care in the case of a major accident or illness, of acting as a true safety net against lifelong financial ruin due to high medical bills, and reducing the costs of routine medical treatment.

I think the distorting effects of employer provided insurance on the cost of making a simple trip to the doctor are greatly underestimated by most people. Removing a few of the layers of bureaucracy between patient and doctor for day to day care can't help but bring costs down. Does anyone really think it ought to cost $95-$265 to have a doctor shine a light in your child's ear and issue a prescription?

So keep in mind that being critical of the health care reform proposal is not the same thing as wanting to maintain the status quo. Constructive opposition does exist and should ultimately improve the effort at reform.

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