What needs fixing, health care or health insurance? If this administration or any administration is ever going to make any headway with this, they are going to have to separate the two.
If the issue is that millions of people are denied care when they need it, then I absolutely agree with the idea that the system is in need of fixing. But that is not the issue. People without insurance coverage are not turned away if they need treatment for an acute condition. They are treated, and the system absorbs the cost, which ultimately means that you and I pick up the tab. It’s amazing to me that so few people have connected the dots between that and the “out of control cost of healthcare”.
It’s hard to get preventative care if you’re uninsured, so that’s one aspect of the healthcare system that should be addressed. But by far the bigger problem is that the rules now in place have so mangled the business of healthcare that nearly everyone agrees that the system needs fixing.
If everything is indeed back on the table now that the Democrats have lost their “supermajority” in the Senate, here are some things that we should do.
- Break the link between employment and health insurance.
- Allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines.
- Reform the laws that make the cost of malpractice insurance such a crushing burden on the providers of care.
In addition, two things that seem to have evolved out of the most recent version of the bills that I do support are:
- Remove the ability of the insurance industry to decline coverage, cancel coverage or to decline to cover preexisting conditions.
- To compensate, ensure some way of giving them millions of additional people to collect premiums from.
And of course, they absolutely positively must open up the debate to coverage by CSPAN, so that it’s all done out in the open. And no more earmarks!