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From what I can tell, there’s a lot of name calling, shouting, and general finger pointing taking place over US healthcare reform, and very little grown-up discussion going on. 

 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d like to talk about this without having to listen to people ranting, so for the next few Thursdays, I’ve decided to open up my blog for those who want to have an actual back and forth about US healthcare in general, as well as the pros and cons of the proposed bill and what changes you would like to see our glorious leaders make to the current system.

 

If you’d like to join in, please follow these simple rules:

 

No swearing. Sorry, but if you can’t make a point without cussing, this is not the place for you.

 

No name calling, finger pointing, or general venting about things as they are now, as they were before the Democrats/Republicans (delete as appropriate) did so and so, or as they would be if only the Democrats/Republicans (delete as appropriate) would do so and so. Again, if that’s all you have to contribute, please do it elsewhere.


Only cite something that's in the current healthcare bill if you can provide a link to the relevant page number/wording in the actual 1,000+ page proposal. 
 

Before we start, in the interest of disclosure, my politics are a little to the right of center. To some people that would put me on a par with Genghis Khan, but that’s only because A: you never knew my old gran, and B: you don’t know much about Genghis Khan. 

 

I believe the State should care for those who can’t care for themselves.  I also believe it should look out for those who need help getting back on their feet, but not those who see living off the state as a career. 

 

After five years in the US, I can see the healthcare system here is far from perfect, but I lived over forty years in the UK, and though you may not want to hear it, I can tell you the system is far from perfect there.

 

Let’s talk healthcare.

 

If it helps get the ball rolling, here are my thoughts:

 

1.  I would allow insurance companies to compete in other states, just as the motor insurance industry does.  The increased competition would (one would hope) drive insurance costs downwards.

 

2.  I would impose harsh penalties on hospitals, doctors and patients who attempt to defraud the Medicare system (as I understand it, Medicare currently loses hundreds of millions of dollars per year to this).   

 

3.  I would set up a government funded organization to oversee insurance companies and make sure they don’t unfairly back out of contracts. This same organization would pay for/eventually take over medical bills resulting from unexpected injury eg; car crash victims where there is no clear liability.

 

4.  I would impose harsh fines on the ambulancechasers.com companies, when they bring frivolous lawsuits.

No doubt, I’ve missed a lot.
 

Bearing in mind the rules listed above. 

 

If you had the power to do so, what would you change about the current healthcare system in the USA and why?





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Comments

bondo_ba
Aug. 13th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Personally, I think copying something like what they do in Europe, but with the option of having private medicine available to those willing to pay for it would be the best bet. That way, no one will die on the street, but the people with more income can get spectacular (as opposed to acceptable) health care.

Trust me - most people who can accede to high-quality care will do so, leaving the public system to those who truly need it and saving the government billions.

This system works pretty well in Argentina (the downside is that every Bolivian with a serious health issue comes around to get it treated), and I don't see why it wouldn't work in more organized nations.

I don't believe that everyone should be condemned to having the same level of health care if they can afford better (which is why I don't like most European systems), but I also feel that people shouldn't be allowed to die because their insurance lapsed.
jongibbs
Aug. 13th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Gustavo.

Do you know how much money comes from people's wage packets to cover the public system? I think it's now 11% in the UK -subject to an upper limit, after which it's 1% - though it's been a while :)

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