Politics: Health Care Bill, where the Dollars go?
Health care is valuable and helping more people gain better access is a good thing.
However, is this the best way to do it?
The "how" question is where there is a difference of opinion.
It is a national shame that so many people have a hard time with our health care system. No question we need to spend money to do better but are we spending it wisely in this new health bill?
We need to recheck our assumptions about some of the solutions that have been passed. Good intentions are not enough.
As in previous posts, I'm a big fan of vouchers (part I in the bill according to this article). It puts $$$ in hands of people who need it to buy health insurance. My guts tell me that is the part of the bill that should be protected. But many of the other provisions that come with it place too much power into the hands of too few regulators in DC. That is the part I think is upsetting people.
If anything, my assessment is that the states should have the option of converting their Medicaid and CHIP programs (section II of the health bill as summarized in the article) into voucher programs and see if that works better.
As for part III, a truly radical reform would be to decouple insurance from employment by phasing out the tax sheltered status of insurance benefits. That simple but dramatic shift in policy would level the playing field for small businesses in a more clear cut fashion that providing them tax credits and puts more control into the hands of the individual.
There will always need to be some social safety net because a certain segment of the population will fall through the cracks. As an honorable society, we need to own that duty.
But also, we need to own up to our duty to look closely at our health care system rather than continuing to let more power flow to DC. For the vast majority of Americans, we need to request that the government provide that safety net for those who truly need it and give the rest of the people the options and flexibility that will shrink as the regulatory power of the government grows in the health care industry.