I just finished watching the President as he spoke at a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire. I think he is finally getting the message that the Republicans are not remotely interested in bi-partisanship and are out to defeat every proposal he makes; even when it was originally their idea. If people would just pay attention to their hypocrisy the next election would be a cake-walk for the Democrats.
The Republicans complain that they have good ideas for health care reform and that they are ignored. I have not studied their proposals in depth, but it seems obvious that the only two reforms that they have offered are patently unworkable.
The first one they love is Tort Reform. (Lawyers give more money to the Democrats than the Republicans). It's not a new idea and has been tried in several states over a period of years. I wrote about that in a previous blog so I will just state that it has been proven to be a failure in bringing down the cost of health care. Their argument should be with the Insurance companies for the outrageous premiums charged to the doctors.
The second reform the Repubs. are gung-ho about is being able to buy insurance coverage across State lines. I will admit that I have not read an analysis on how this would work, but it seems to me that there would be a big problem with the 'States Rights' that they are so fond of. For example, a couple buy health insurance from a provider in Airzona because the premiums are cheaper and they live in a state where the cost of hospitalization is higher than that of Arizona. Then one member of the household has a catastrophic illness that exceeds the amount allowed by the Arizona insurance company. The couple are unable to pay the difference and the State of their residence would have to pay the hospital's loss out of their Medicaid funds. How would this work? The state that would reap the tax revenue from the Insurance company would be the one of the issuing company, yet the State that has to pay for the remaining expense would be the one the illness occurred in. I have to admit that I am just floundering here, but I do see problems in this system.
I doubt that this reform would reduce the overall cost of health care in the long run. And without reducing the cost of health care, nothing will work. The reasoning behind this idea is that it would foster competition. I find that a trifle hard to believe considering the history of the health insurance industry. They have reams of strategists figuring out how to squeeze more money from the system and a little competition won't change that. It would take real competition from a low cost government system that anyone can join to make them lower their premiums.
(Did you say Public Option?)
Will some Republican explain to me how either one of their proposals will solve the problem of insuring everyone or bringing down the obscene cost of our health care? Some idiots actually have made the claim that the Republican plan would cost nothing and insure everyone. How well did that work with their Prescription Drug plan? I quit believing in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus a long time ago, but apparently some of our Republican Congressmen haven't given up dreaming the impossible.
Two other things that gall me about the Republican claim. They still maintain that we have the best health care system in the world. If you are a member of Congress, that is true. (Of course, they have a government run system.) However, for 95% of Americans our system stinks.
And that brings me to the second irritant. The claim that the current legislation is Socialist. It patently is NOT. The government will not be hiring the doctors or running the hospitals as it would if the pending bill was a Socialist plot.
So until you can come up with a workable system for health care reform will you Republicans please just shut up and get out of the way.