Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare passed??????????

I want to take the time to disagree with our president and congress.

2700 pages??? 1 Trillion dollars to cover 12 to 15 million people??? Really???

If this were truly just an overhaul of the Health care system in America then what the heck is all student loans for college now managed by our government doing in there? They want to control not only who goes to college on student loans but dictate to universities their curriculum. IRS is now in charge of health care.

Back to the debate.
If we use 2 existing models for reform Texas and Massachusetts

In Texas:

In an Op-Ed published in the San Francisco Examiner earlier this month, Texas Governor Perry points out that in 2003 the state implemented laws that shielded health care providers from trial lawyers "anxious to make a quick buck."

"We capped noneconomic damages at $250,000 per defendant, or up to $750,000 per incident, while placing no cap on more easily determined economic damages, such as lost wages or costs of medical care due to injury.

"We ended the practice of allowing baseless but expensive lawsuits to drag on indefinitely, requiring plaintiffs to provide expert witness reports to support their claims within four months of filing suit or drop the case...

"Changes were seen immediately, and continue to be felt. All major liability insurers cut their rates upon passage of our reforms, with most of those cuts ranging in the double-digits. More than 10 new insurance carriers entered the Texas market, increasing competition and further lowering costs.

"As a result, Texas doctors have seen their insurance rates decline by an average of 27 percent.

"The number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas has skyrocketed by 57 percent."

In Massachusetts:

Massachusetts health program, model for Obama’s reform, strains state budget
By Peter Suderman 01/10/10 at 8:00 PM

In 2006, the state of Massachusetts passed a sweeping overhaul of the state’s health-care system. The system, which influenced the Obama administration’s plans for national reform, has since faced unexpected and unchecked growth in costs, both to the government and individuals, forcing the government to cut benefits and raise taxes. Now analysts say that without significant policy changes, the program’s long-term viability is in doubt.

State officials have successfully increased health insurance coverage in the state: With only 2.6 percent of the population now lacking health insurance, its insurance rate is the highest in the nation. But high coverage levels have been achieved at a substantial price, and one that is expected to increase over time.

For the state’s policymakers, rapidly rising health-care costs are the central problem with the plan. Since 2006, the cost of the state’s insurance program has increased by 42 percent, or almost $600 million. According to an analysis by the Rand Corporation, “in the absence of policy change, health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020, increasing 8 percent faster than the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).”

Meanwhile, the cost of insurance premiums in the state is the highest in the nation, and double-digit rate hikes are expected again in 2010.

The worry, shared across the political spectrum, is that the state’s health-care spending will overwhelm the state’s budget. Already, it has forced service cuts that have irked those on both sides of the aisle.

Physicians for a National Health Plan, a doctor’s group that supports a fully socialized, single-payer health-care system, warned in a February 2009 report that the new system had failed to reduce medical spending, and has subsequently drawn funding away from crucial health resources such as emergency room care.

Michael Tanner, a health policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute notes that huge deficits and skyrocketing public expenses already have resulted an increased cigarette tax of $1 a pack, as well as $89 million in new fees on the health-care industry.

And in summer 2009, the state announced plans to drop coverage for 30,000 legal immigrants with a goal of cutting $130 million in health-care expenses.

One problem the state has faced is that it failed to accurately anticipate the true cost of the program. At the time the program was signed into law, estimates indicated that the cost of Commonwealth Care, which is responsible for the program’s biggest single cost, its health insurance subsidies, would be about $725 million per year. But by 2008, those projections had been revised. New estimates indicated that the plan was to cost $869 million in 2009 and $880 million 2010, an upwards increase of nearly 20 percent.

Massachusetts would not be the first state to face a budget crisis due to unexpected cost spikes after instituting policies designed to increase insurance coverage. In 1994, Tennessee launched TennCare. The program successfully cut the state’s uninsured rate to about 6 percent. But in 2005, the state was forced to scale back significantly, slashing 170,000 people from the rolls after the program’s rapidly increasing costs threatened to send the state into bankruptcy.

Some of the program’s critics have argued that the state’s $5 billion budget deficit is a result of health care costs. Defenders of the Massachusetts system note that the deficit is a result of decreasing tax revenues and long-term effects of policy changes in the 1990s. The state would likely be facing budget deficits even without the 2006 program.

Others say budgetary concerns have been blown out of proportion. A November 2009 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example, notes that the cost to the state’s general fund has not been unmanageable.

But should costs continue to rise apace, they could easily dip further into the general fund in the future. And the report’s authors agree that the “high cost of care in Massachusetts is causing major strains,” and that now, “tackling costs has risen to the top of the agenda.”

Read more:

Being a libertarian leaning towards anarchist I would like to see more of the first option versus the second. Where the majority of the health care debate has missed the target. We should have first put together a list of what truly is wrong like a disease and treat it not symptoms of the problem. The media of course did its best to take direction from those is charge in Washington DC. Would I like health care reform you betcha. Do I want this one NO FREAKING WAY!

#1 Tort Reform
#2 Drop group coverage models and have it based on individuals.
#3 Deregulate state mandates and let every insurance company compete over state lines. There are 1300+ companies but because of controls in place you get to choose from less that 5 normally.
#4 No one loses insurance due to illness, disease or job changes you get insurance for life upon initial purchase. You still have to pay for your own coverage.
#5 Get the government programs out of the way of our health care. The state currently dictates to Docs, Hospitals, drug companies, medial device companies on what the payout for their services is going to be. The insurance company follows their coding guidelines that are released every year. Let the market dictate charges and payments. If some companies what to be cheap and not pay certain Doc fees then either the patient has to find a new doctor to take what they have or they can change companies. Normal supply and demand market principles.
#6 Kids are covered and can't be dropped and fall under their folks policy until 26 is fine.

Now this can go on for ever but these are few key items that should have been addressed with real reform.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Winter just won't leave

I am tired of the cold. It is still getting down around freezing and highs barely into the 50's. That is 10+ degrees cooler than normal. Attention Global Warming Zealots can you please adjust the thermostat in South Carolina higher as it isn't fun golfing in this cold.