At least that's what I think they're prescribing
, since all of them seem to rely on some form of "and a pony!"
To be fair, Bill Frist's suggestion that quality, not quantity, be the basis of Medicare and private insurance reimbursement makes a great deal of sense. But he seems uninterested in how his "reform" would make that happen. He's all...well, he doesn't seem to offer either a carrot or a stick, and all those physician owned medical imaging centers aren't going to pay for themselves! Oh, and there is, I think, a label for those that would deny care to people on the basis of "outcomes" and "effectiveness" -- "Death Panels."
Mark McClellan, likewise, seems sensible, as he appears to be calling for "health care reform!" No argument there.
Of course, Frist and McClellan are doctors (Frist, in particular, is one that can make diagnoses on the basis of a video tape)
, so they have a grounding in reality. Let's see what some of the other "thinkers have to say.
There's James K. Pinkerton's call for reforming health care by giving people "better health!" It will pay for itself!
Sixty-seven percent of Americans say they are not getting enough medical treatment, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data. But we want not just more care; we want better health. Thanks to the public-private effort that decades ago brought us the polio vaccine, we no longer spend money on wheelchairs and iron lungs. We could do the same today for other diseases. Finding a cure is cheaper than paying for care.
Why didn't Democrats think of that???!!!
Charles Kolb calls for insurance "exchanges." What a novel idea
! And an end to the employer-based insurance system. Clearly, that's a bipartisan approach.
Congress should also end the current tax exemption for employer-sponsored insurance coverage. This change would encourage people to pay more attention to the price of their health insurance. And it would provide the money that will be needed to help underwrite coverage for the uninsured.
Finally, no backroom deals — for pharmaceutical companies, individual members of Congress or anyone else.
We have a rare opportunity to lower America’s health care costs, extend coverage and provide better care. What’s uncertain is whether our bipartisan leadership is up to the task.
I think we already know the answer to that.
Finally there's that omnipresent conservative "thinker," Newt Gingrich, instrumental in killing health care reform in 1994, who trots out the usual call for litigation reform and...nothing else.
These reforms would allow doctors to stop playing defense, and make it possible for patients and taxpayers to better afford health care.
So, there you have it. Frist and McConnell basically agree on the urgent need for health care reform. Pinkerton calls for an end to disease. Kolb basically wants regional exchanges (but not a public option, that would be bad!) that are already a part of one of the Democrats' bills, and no "backroom deals" with pharmaceutical companies (who needs them anyway!?), we can always buy from Canada! And Gingrich's only answer is a single reform that would lower costs by as much as 1 to 2 percent! Some won't even go that high.
The good news is that President Obama does seem to have successfully changed the framing of the debate. No longer are Republicans reflexively declaring that we have the best health care system in the world. So if reform is so urgently needed, as these "thinkers" seem to suggest, then surely the GOP will work to improve upon the current bills that already have majority support in the House and Senate?
Labels: stupid health care tricks