Friday, March 5, 2010

The Sheepdog's health care reform proposal

By now everyone's heard all the different proposals about how to reform health care in this country. Obama's got a plan, the Democrats have several different ones, and the Republicans in Congress have one, too. Now, I, the Sheepdog, am gonna share mine. No 2000+ page bill required and it's very simple. However, parts of it go against my conservative political views. You'll understand why shortly. However, I think it's the only way to get the un-insured with pre-existing conditions health insurance coverage, and in my opinion, that is the biggest problem. And yes, before you ask, I am one of them. We'll call it The Sheepdog Health Care Reform Plan and it does four (4) things.

First, we have to end the discrimination against people with chronic illnesses / disabilities / pre-existing conditions. Discrimination is prohibited in the sale of other products and insurance is a product. For instance, let's say an African-American couple are newly married and looking to buy their first house. They find one they like and make an offer. The seller refuses to sell to them because of their race. That is not only wrong but is against the law. So, why do we allow health insurance companies to legally discriminate against people who are sick by refusing to sell them health insurance coverage ?? It's wrong and should be against the law, too. Anyone that wants coverage and can pay for it should be able to buy it.

Second, we have to limit, cap, the premium that a health care insurance company can charge for both individual and family plans. Why ?? Because if we don't the insurance companies will offer people with pre-existing conditions insurance but then charge them so much that the insurance is unaffordable. Basically, they would continue to discriminate.

Third, we must have tort reform. The frivolous lawsuits that physicians, nurses, drug companies and others face on a daily basis are forcing up health care costs. I do agree that if the negligence of a doctor, nurse, drug company, etc. injuries or kills a patient that the patient and/or their family should have legal recourse and be able to sue the heck out of the provider. However, there are so many frivolous lawsuits now that the physicians malpractice insurance premium are sky high and that is driving up health care costs. Anybody but me noticed that we have not heard a peep out of the American Bar Association during the health care reform debate ?? Interesting, isn't it ??

Fourth, we must standardize and simplify the states' mandates on health insurance companies. Many people believe that health insurance cannot be sold across state lines. That is not exactly true. It just seems that way. The reason is because state governments have created so many different mandates that health insurance companies have to follow that a policy may meet the requirements of and be legal to sell in one state and not another. To fix this, all 50 states need to simplify and standardize the requirements they put on the insurance companies. For example, a policy that meets all the mandates required to be legally sold by Company A in Tennessee should automatically meet all the requirements to be legally sold in California. Then, it will be much easier for residents in one state to by health insurance from a company in another state. Competition would increase and prices would decrease.

So, there you have it - The Sheepdog Health Care Reform Plan. Now, I do not believe that Americans should be forced / mandated to buy health insurance as Mr. Obama's plan does. However, it you want it and can pay for it, I don't believe you should be turned down for health reasons. Before anyone says, "but in some states you are required to buy auto insurance," let me say that you have a choice not to. How ?? You can use public transportation or ride with family or friends and not own a car. However, if you choose to drive, then you have to have auto insurance. Under, ObamaCare, if you choose to live then you have to have health insurance. Your other choice - die or leave. Not much of a choice. I also wish we would not have to force health insurance companies to cover people or cap the premiums they can charge. I wish they would just do the right thing, but they won't. One can probably argue the The Sheepdog Plan will interfere with the free market. Some will argue that forcing an insurance company to cover you even if you're sick is unconstitutional. Maybe so, but, I also believe that discrimination is wrong and any form of it should be illegal. Plus, I know from my own experience that you will be turned down if you have a pre-existing condition. I called one of the big health insurance companies one day, told them I was interested in an individual policy, and that I was a transplant recipient just to see what would happen. The call lasted less than 15 seconds as the "customer service rep" said, "You're an automatic exclusion," and then couldn't hang up quick enough. Don't believe me ?? Call one of them and tell them you are a transplant recipient and find out for yourself.

Let me be clear - I am absolutely, positively against ObamaCare / universal health care, and if someone else has a better plan, I'd love to hear it. Obama's plan will wreck our health care system because it will lead to a complete government takeover of the industry over time. My plan will not. It will just tweak what we've currently got. If you think ObamaCare won't lead to a complete takeover, then maybe this video will change your mind :

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1 comment:

Sherrie said...

I totally agree that it is very discriminatory to not insure people with chronic illnesses or pre-existing conditions. I think there should be some type of pool where the insurance people have to take people whether they want to or not.
In addition,
Remove the legal obstacles that show the creation of high deductible health insurance policies and HSAs. Money not spent in oen year rolls over to the next year and grows over time. This gives incentives to spend more carefully.
Equalize the tax laws where employer-health insurance and individually owned health insurance the same tax benefits. Currently, employee health insurance is fully deductible while individual health insurance is not.
Enact tort reform to end the ruinous law suits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of thousands of dollars per year.
Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatment costs.
Enact Medicare reform. Enact reforms that give Medicare greater patient empowerment, choice, and responsibility.
Revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary contribution, tax-deductible, for people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

While we clearly need health care reform, the last thing we need is a massive entitlement health care program that will create billions more in deficit spending. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction....toward less government control and more individual empowerment.