Wednesday, May 14, 2008

real chance for health care reform

Everyone wants to fix healthcare. McCain likes the market, but his plan for insuring those with pre-existing conditions is somewhat shoddy, and certainly doesn't put your mind at ease if you have a loved one with any sort of debilitating disease. The Dems offer two different flavors of the same lollipop, but won't offer a realistic plan for financing their operations (expiration of Bush tax cuts won't cut it). But did you know there was a reform proposal being debated in Congress that actually passed mustard as budget neutral by Congressional Budget Office? A bipartisan bill that seeks to finally move American health care beyond the employer-based model of the 20th century while upgrading the regulatory infrastructure and providing universal health care?

Sigh, if only we weren't in an election year (or had a ceaseless election cycle), the Wyden-Bennett plan would be getting more attention. Sens. Ron Wyden (D) and Bob Bennett (R) hail from Oregon and Utah, respectively, and yet found enough common ground to rehaul the American health care system:

"Under the Wyden-Bennett system, health dollars would be controlled by the individual (a long-time conservative goal) and used within a restructured, heavily regulated, totally universal, insurance marketplace."

The proposal has six Republicans and six Democrats on board, already making it "the largest bipartisan coalition ever assembled around a concrete piece of universal health-care legislation.
The Lewin Group, a highly respected health-care consulting firm, estimates that the plan would save $1.4 trillion over 10 years.

Unlike the proposals being bandied about now, this proposal will actually control cost to some degree -- which is *THE* problem of American health care, while still providing a "minimum standard for comprehensiveness (equivalent to the standard Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan currently offered to members of Congress), and they could not discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, occupation, genetic information, gender or age."

As you might imagine, a legitimate health care reform package is far too massive to relate in its entirety via blog post, so I will once again point you to this article on Health Care's Odd Couple. I have a few questions, but I would support its adoption tomorrow, especially if meant that none of the Presidential candidates' plans were implemented. One Health Affairs article I read directed readers to keep an eye on this proposal, as it has a better chance of being the grand plan for reform than the Presidential plans. I hope so.

1 comment:

Lloyd said...

Good lord man - I don't know how you spend your free time but it sure isn't how I spend my free time. You must never sleep.

I could pretend to understand what the Dems and Reps are proposing for healthcare reform but I'd be BS-ing you.

Whatever Robin Hanson said it sounded like something i'd like.