Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thoughts on Health Care Reform

A topic I have not tackled is the current boondoggle that is health care reform. Congress has been dealing with this issue for the better part of this year and so far - have not come to a conclusion. Competing reform bills in the House and Senate are so lengthy and were not given adequate time to discuss, debate, or modify as needed.

As such, the American public has stood up and said - we want you to slow down. Many are saying that they do not even want a public option. But, in the end, Americans want something to be done about health care. As such - the Republican Party must offer alternatives. Luckily for us - they have.

The Republicans in Congress have offered a multi-faceted approach to health care reform. Yet, unlike their Democratic colleagues, they have kept their bills smaller and limited in scope. For example - John Shadegg prepared the "Improving Health Care for All Americans Act." This legslation allows individual to gain tax credits just like businesses for purchasing health insurance. It also allows certain civic organizations to allow members to join in insurance programs they establish - including church groups, alumni associations, and trade association in addition to employers. This will provide competition to employer provided health insurance. Finally, it removes some of the barriers for those who have pre-existing conditions trying to get health insurance.

The Republican Study Committee develoepd the Empowering Patients First Act. This includes reform that allows persons to purchase insurance across state lines, allows physicians to deduct for uncompensated care, and caps non-economic damages in medical liability cases.

There are many other ideas as well - many of which are incldued at the House GOP Caucus website on healthcare.

I do not agree with every single item on every single reform bill proposed by the GOP, but I find them to be a far better and far cheaper alternative to the behemoth that the Democratic Party has created. Then again - this is why healthcare reform needs to be done slowly and with great care. The American public doesn't need any random legislation entitled "reform" with no regard to cost or consequences steamrolled through Congress. We need the best possible piece of legislation to pass, preferrably piece by piece. Omnibus legislation is never a good plan and will always be able to be packed with mini-pork nuggets of which the people are unaware.

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