Posted on | April 10, 2012 | 9 Comments
And so here is Clancy, nattering on, in defiance of the Received Wisdom that the GOP has no ideas of how to improve health care in the United States. He even blasphemes the Holy Tax Code:
The Republicans do have a bunch of ideas for fixing what ails our health care system. I’ll just mention a few of them here. For example:
- Reform state medical malpractice laws.
- Incentivize hospitals and doctors to publish their prices, to promote comparison shopping.
- Let people purchase insurance across state lines.
- Let small businesses band together to obtain insurance for their workers at group rates.
- Expand Health Savings Accounts and flex benefits.
- Ease federal mandates that contribute to emergency-room over-crowding.
- Block-grant the Medicaid program back to the states.
Here’s my personal favorite:
- Let seniors join their Member of Congress’s health plan.
Those are just some of the ideas that various Republicans have proposed. And they’re by and large pretty good, common-sense ideas. I think they’d reduce costs without costly mandates, without a big new bureaucracy, without a 2,801-page bill that “they have to pass so we can find out what’s in it.” Oh, and by the way, with all of these ideas, you would actually get to “keep your coverage if you like it,” unlike under the president’s plan. Anyway, that’s all great.
But the one problem that I haven’t mentioned the Republicans dealing with — and it’s very important — is pre-existing conditions. You probably know what that is. It’s the most important problem in health care. If you fix the problem of pre-existing medical conditions, I think you fix the health care issue, as a general matter.
What is that, exactly? It’s the problem you face when, let’s say you have diabetes and you’re unemployed or you lose your job — you have no health insurance. So you go to buy coverage online or out of the yellow pages, and they want to charge you an arm and a leg because of your health status, because of your preexisting condition. That’s a problem for a lot of people, maybe 2 to 4 million people in this country, so not a huge percentage of us, but for each one of those people it’s a big deal.
And guess what? That problem can be addressed. It’s mainly caused by government policy. My line is whenever someone tells you that there’s a “market failure,” look closer: it’s a government failure. There’s some government policy causing the problem. And that’s definitely the case here. The problem with pre-existing conditions is primarily caused by the United States tax code. That’s right, it’s the tax code. And how does that happen? Well, basically the government doesn’t create a level playing field for health care versus health insurance, for health insurance obtained at the workplace versus health insurance obtained out of the yellow pages, for health insurance that has a low deductible versus health insurance with a high deductible. By the way, a deductible just means the amount that you pay out of pocket before the insurance kicks in. All of those distortions are caused by the way we treat health benefits in our tax code.
Read the whole contra-Narrative mess, and remember to savor the Ultimate Truthiness: the GOP has no reform ideas.
It’s either ObamaCare, or under the bus for every manjack among you.
Update: linked by The Lonely Conservative.
Update II: linked at Daley Gator.