Skip to comments.Let Individuals, Not Politicians, Make Health Care Decisions
Posted on 09/14/2012 8:09:55 AM PDT by Kaslin
The health care debate is a great example of why Americans hate politics.
Both Republicans and Democrats pursue their plans with ideological zeal and reckless disregard for the truth in hopes of winning 51 percent of the vote. Voters hold their nose and choose but would rather have their leaders search for consensus. That would require taking a little bit from the president's plan, a little bit from the Republicans and a lot from what voters think should be done.
Currently, Republicans are seen as wanting to give more authority to insurance companies, while Democrats want more power for the government. Voters are evenly divided as to which of those they fear the most, but they don't like either option. Americans want to make their own health care decisions.
That's why they overwhelmingly favor getting rid of special antitrust exemptions for insurance companies. Let the companies compete. It's also why they strongly oppose all government health care mandates. Sugary soda may lead to health problems, but only 24 percent think the government should ban the sale of large sugary drinks.
By a 3-to-1 margin, voters believe that free market competition will do more than additional government regulation to reduce health care costs. Democrats say that's the idea behind the exchanges required in the health care law. From the perspective of most Americans, that's a good thing. But President Obama's law allows only limited competition. All insurance policies must offer the same list of medical procedures mandated by the federal government. That's like Ford saying its customers can buy any color car they want so long as it's black. That won't satisfy consumers today.
Seventy-six percent of voters think every individual should have the right to choose between expensive health care plans that cover just about everything and less expensive plans that cover only major medical expenses. If Democrats would allow insurance companies to offer a variety of policies, perhaps Republicans would accept requiring those companies to offer a Cadillac policy covering everything mandated by the federal government.
That type of political compromise would ensure that everybody would have access to a top-tier plan, but nobody would be forced to pay for coverage they don't want.
The same approach could be taken with other aspects of the health care law. Democrats rightly note that the provision allowing students to stay on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26 is popular. But why not expand it and give more access to those over 26 by allowing all Americans to purchase the health insurance offered to members of Congress? Seventy-eight percent of voters think that's a good idea.
To make all the consumer choices meaningful, take the power away from employers to pick the insurance plan for their workers. If a company pays for employee health insurance, 82 percent believe that each employee should be allowed to use that money to select their own plan. If they come up with a less expensive option than their company chooses, most believe the workers should be allowed to keep the change.
If consumers are given control of their health care spending, thoughtful shoppers will demand better quality and better service. They also will bring down the cost of care.
Building consensus on health care reform requires taking good ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. As far as voters are concerned, good ideas are the ones that give individuals more control over their own health care decisions.
Can we ever go back?
I worked as an operating room nurse and the surgeons were all refusing to take Medicare patients, talking about early retirement to Costa Rica or Panama, and discouraging their kids from going into medicine.
We're going to import our future doctors from who knows where- just in time for my old age! Ha!
If you stop and think about it, it seems odd that even employers have anything to do with health care insurance. They don’t do car insurance, do they? Speaking of which, why not have workers shop their health care insurance the way they do with car insurance? Get employers out of it. Allow workers to keep their money and shop their own health care. Make insurance companies compete and earn each policy rather than making huge blanket deals with corporations.
If you hate calling any technical "support" line for any reason where you talk with "Joe" whom you can hardly understand, you'll really hate American health care in 10 years.
“Can we ever go back?”
Not with these two candidates, and not with the whole tort lawyer racket still being in place for the most part. Still, HMOs quietly went away. Perhaps this will too.
We are too forgiving of oppressive politicians and bureaucrats in both parties. The occasional tribunal and serious consequence for embezzling and suppressing liberty would have a salutary effect.
I see American Healthcare declining as we type! I’m still a nurse.
The UAW and Blue Cross/Blue Shield started the trend toward employer health care benefits.
An employer who has 10,000 employees can negotiate a better deal to cover their people than can a mom 'n pop store.
That concept was called ‘freedom’.
Well, that’s all well and good but you have to remember that we’re all too stupid to look after ourselves. NOT! Leave us alone and if we need some help, we’ll call you. But don’t hold your breath. Well maybe.............. go ahead and hold your breath.
Helping keep mankind warm for 65 years.
You know the reason that employers are offering health insurance in the first place don’t you?
Back during the wage & price control era (ie, gov’t interference), companies couldn’t use higher wages to attract the best people, so they started offering benefits packages instead, including health insurance.
[ Currently, Republicans are seen as wanting to give more authority to insurance companies ]
Huh? The Democrats and Obama are the ones who passed a law forcing you to buy a government mandated insurance plan from those insurance companies. Romney has promised to repeal it.
[By a 3-to-1 margin, voters believe that free market competition will do more than additional government regulation to reduce health care costs. ]
There’s your ad Romney/Ryan!
Nanny State PING!
Thanks for the ping!
Personally, I'd have no problem with making it a capital crime for a politician to vote for any law taking power from me and giving it to the government or to a company. Horse stealing used to be a capital crime, and you can get a new horse. How is theft of your decisions any less an outrage??
If gubmint and your fellow taxpayers Osamacare recipients or your employer is paying for your healthcare, than everything you do is their business.
“Your body belongs to the State. Your body belongs to the Fuhrer. Heath is not a private matter.
—Nazi party slogan
It's the result of the ORIGINAL goobermint meddling in health care, creating the favored tax status of health coverage vs. wages and other benes, to allow Kaiser to compete for labor during WWII, in spite of OTHER government meddling in the fixing of wages. So government meddled in wages, bandaided that by exempting health coverage from taxation, and now wants to meddle some MORE to bandaid the problems THAT caused. I was just explaining this issue to my mom this morning as a matter of fact. Any more questions?