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POLICY: Stopping Health Care “Reform” By Eric Novack

In response to the wave of misguided proposals across the country calling for "health care reform" , discussions are beginning for an initiative to amend at least one state constitution with the following:

The right of citizens to enter into private contracts with health care providers for health care services shall not be infringed.  No law shall be enacted requiring any citizen, or any class of citizens, to participate in any state sponsored health care system or plan.

I can’t name the state for the time being as the details are still being worked out. Thoughts?

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Mira's DeskMatthewJack LohmanRickHarvey Frey Recent comment authors
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Mira's Desk
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After many years of managing large organizations in the corporate world I started my own small discount office furniture business five years ago. I have struggled to offer a solid health care plan for my employees. We have had steady growth over the years, but not the cost of health care has grown even faster. Do you know of any states that offer a subsidized small business health care plan like Arkansas?

Stella Baskomb
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Stella Baskomb

“Sound like a good idea? Didn’t think so. But it’s the same one you had, Stella. Think it through. There’s no way to determine who is or isn’t making a “good” decision, and people in government aren’t any better at it or any less corrupt about it than anyone else.” Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, I expected at least ONE person on this frickin blog (you frinstance, or Erick) would have the wit to recognize the first post of mine up there for what it is – a send-up of a certain too-common dogmatism toward single-payer. And what’s all the more interesting… Read more »

RW
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RW

Let me amend that last sentence (I’d take it back if I could). It’s not really about “free market” vs. whatever, because even the government leverages market forces to accomplish what it wants – DRG’s, APC DRG’s, various governmental incentives through the years that drove expansion in the market (e.g. home health years ago), and even the “clinical integration” exceptions from anti-trust where it can be proven that the integration is in the best interest of patients and not the providers. These all have acted like tools through the years to drive change – whether we liked it or not.… Read more »

RW
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RW

Some real examples of (in my opinion) bad healthcare choices made by otherwise intelligent folks: (and all illustrative of how the focus on “access” meaning “insurance” totally misses much of what is wrong with healthcare. Again I’m responding to the notion that Eric seems to forward time and again that if we just tweak things a little and let the market forces work that we’ll all be better off.) Cancer: choosing your friend who is a general surgeon to “treat” your breast cancer instead of seeking out at a minimum a surgical oncoligist – if not seeking care at a… Read more »

Jack Lohman
Guest

Eric, I would add to your list of nine: 10: Reinstate the certificate of need 11: Extend CON to physician offices and clinics 12: Reinstate the Stark laws that prevented self referrals (hosptials employing physicians, physicians having ownership in hospitals to which they refer patients, and physicians referring patients to labs in which they have a financial interest). 13: States or the feds must pass “any willing provider” laws 14: Physicians and nurses in the top 10% of their class should receive a 100% rebate on their tuition (perhaps graduating down to 50% rebate at the C level). 15: Eliminate… Read more »

Jack Lohman
Guest

Do your homework. Compared to the next highest country, Canada at 10%, the US health care system is costing 15% of GDP. They have a Medicare-for-all system that has eliminated all of the waste generated by the insurance industry (and others). Not waste huh?
Employers add their costs of health care to their product and YOU reimburse them at the cash register! You reimburse them at the 15% rate rather than Canadians at the 10% rate.
So, keep payin’ maam. They love you for it.

Stella Baskomb
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Stella Baskomb

“Stella, quit being an a**hole” Still playing the buffoon eh? See, bud, I don’t CARE if a person who can say THIS “appreciates” my “views”: “Medicare has problems, but they will not be fixed with a free market system to further drain public assets.” Yes, Medicare has “problems”. You seem to have no idea how big. Your curious religion aside, what you suggest will just go on draining the public assets by public expenditures. That won’t fix the problems. “A Medicare-for-all system with all of the healthy young bucks folded into it will be far cheaper overall than any free… Read more »

Jack Lohman
Guest

Stella, quit being an a**hole and perhaps your views will be a bit more appreciated. This buffoon realizes that Medicare has problems, but they will not be fixed with a free market system to further drain public assets. It is projected that by 2016 health care costs will go from 15% to 20% of GDP. That’s not because of Medicare, which takes on old geezers like us and deals with virtually all of the heroic end-of-life costs, and thus its per-capita costs are higher than all others. And Medicare will become further in debt as the Bush trillion-dollar giveaway to… Read more »

Stella Baskomb
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Stella Baskomb

“I am thankful to be on Medicare.”
Who is this buffoon?
I’m on Medicare too. Medicare is much further in debt than even Social Security. The Medicare system is at risk of collapse because of its debt, unless fundamental change takes place such as big reductions in the benefits (the benefits arent so great right now, if you know about Medicare).
None of that makes ME “thankful”. It scares me.
Who recognizes this problem and has ideas to rescue Medicare? I don’t see them – I sure don’t see them here.

Jack Lohman
Guest

>>> “… better price and quality transparency tools that would help both patients and doctors determine the relative quality of hospitals, …. learn the actual insurance company reimbursement rates paid to hospitals, doctors, imaging centers, labs, etc.” Barry, I agree with what you say ……. except why in the hell do we have to pay the additional 15-20% for an insurance industry that adds nothing to health care and just adds cost? That’s where you and I part. You are also a big proponent of HSAs, and according to a recent article in the Business Journal you may get your… Read more »

Jack Lohman
Guest

>>> “….is healthcare a right or a privilege? If it’s a right you have now started down the slippery slope of “healthcare for all”. If its a privilege, well, let’s just say you’re ok with (even more) people dying in the streets if they can’t make good decisions in life. This is the basic conundrum facing us with all of this healthcare “reform”. ” In a perfect world healthcare should be a privilege. But we are a compassionate society and we treat people in distress even it it costs the taxpayers in the process. And if we could trust the… Read more »

Barry Carol
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Barry Carol

I can give you example after example of wealthy, intelligent, informed people who make horrible decisions about seeking healthcare. RW – Could you give us two or three examples. Are we talking about things like diet / exercise / medication compliance or continuing to smoke, failure to lose weight, not wearing seatbelts, etc.? Since these wealthy, intelligent, informed people presumably have insurance, I assume access to healthcare is not an issue. I’m also not sure whether the insurance system were all taxpayer financed (single payer or voucher) or the current hybrid system would make any difference in reducing the number… Read more »

Jack Lohman
Guest

>>> “The easiest way to get doctors to see patients is to allow them to take a tax credit for the value of their care. Even if the value of the credit just equalled medicare rates it would vastly increase access to care without significant overhead…” After re-reading your #7 I understood what you meant and was going to respond that I agreed both on receiving medical care and food stamps and any other govt help. I’ve seen too many case of people well enough to work and finding loopholes so they don’t have to. There are many chores the… Read more »

Dean
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Dean

Eric – I misunderstood your reference to tax credits. Tax credits to providers who treat the poor would certainly have a positive impact, although why stop there? Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care providers are so low it’s a disgrace. Vetinarians get paid more for treating animals. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) get paid more under federal law, than physicians and physician groups, but are expected to provide a wider range of services. Some state Medicaid programs are looking at Pay for Performance and this could be a positive development if it leads to both improved compensation and increased accountability… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

OK, healthcare should be cheaper, but one of the ways we do that is with health courts that actually costs the taxpayers MORE than having the private parties pay for it themselves.
That makes sense.