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The President’s Plan for Health Reform – Part 3September 11, 2009

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:08pm

For All Americans, the President’s Plan:

Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.

Uh, say what?  The CBO disagrees as do almost all legitimate economists.  The deficit which is already soaring is really our major problem and this approach will add to the already skyrocketing amounts being laid on the ‘to be paid’ list for current and future generations of Americans.  Paid for upfront?  How?  By whom? Specifically, really, can you tell us? Don’t think so because the only option that is being floated on the left is selective (punitive) taxation while allowing the vast majority of citizens a free ride (and especially non-citizens). Can’t buy this one.

Requires additional cuts if savings are not realized.

No brainer. The savings will not be realized because no matter how you slice it, adding millions of citizens (and some 9-10 million illegals) to any form of federally subsidized health plan will cost MORE not less money.  There is not even remotely the amount of ‘fraud and abuse and waste’ talked about to cover this.  So in the end, cuts will occur.  Cut to Medicare.  Cuts to Medicaid.  Cuts to seniors benefits.  It is inevitable under this  plan.

Implements a number of delivery system reforms that begin to rein in health care costs and align incentives for hospitals, physicians, and others to improve quality.

Could we be a bit more specific please.  Rein in health care costs almost always equals reductions in payments, benefits or coverages.  It almost equals limitations on access, technology implementation and expansion and drug coverages.  Aligning incentives suggests that the goal of the health system is to keep folks sick.  Hardly.  We are all for improvements in quality, but we need to define what we are looking for.

Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.

On the surface sounds good.  In reality, an independent commission means limiting input and defining points of view which will be highlighted.  There are already ample regulatory restraints in place to deal with REAL fraud and abuse.  This is in reality merely another method to place limitations on care (read rationing).  No matter how you cut it Mr. President, these commissions and czars (which you seem to love) are not the ideal way to go.

Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.

Again, sounds good.  But we have had ‘demonstration projects’ at work in the laboratory of the states for years.  States like Indiana and Louisiana have had cap systems for years and they work.  Texas’s recent use of caps has been a boon as doctors have flocked to the Lone Star State.  Sound nice, but not needed.  Move robustly on this Mr. President as the amount of cost of defensive medicine, despite what some studies suggest, is high and not easily calculated. Physicians DO NOT LIKE TO BE SUED.  They will do what is necessary to CYA and that means ordering tests and procedures if needed to do that.  If you think otherwise, you need to talk to few more physicians.

Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform.

No problem here as we have advocated the individual mandate from day one.  We still think businesses should be removed from the need to be involved in the health care delivery system, but as employer coverage is such a historical part of the last 50 or so years, we can understand not wanting to start from scratch.  So we agree, mandate coverage by businesses and/or individuals.

The President’s Plan for Health Reform –

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