Real healthcare reform begins after court ruling - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Real healthcare reform begins after court ruling

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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2012 2:30 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court should announce its ruling soon on the constitutionality of the government takeover of health care. It’s no secret that I hope the court will throw out the whole law. Its requirement that everyone buy health insurance is just one outrage. There are many other outrages, including the creation of a massive entitlement program, new mandates for states, mandates for businesses and mandates for the conduct of health care and insurance industry companies on the whole.

The result has been not unexpected, and not what anyone wanted: higher health care costs, higher insurance premiums, businesses dropping insurance and consumer and medical industry dissatisfaction. I’ve heard from doctors and other medical professionals who have said they’re getting out of health care because of the law. I’ve heard from businesses that are shutting down, reducing staff or refusing to make new investment because of it. Certainly, that wasn’t the intent of the law, but there’s no escaping that has been the result.

If the court does strike down the law—and even if the court upholds it—the discussion about health care and the government’s role in it needs to start anew. There is a problem with health care in this country, and it needs to be fixed. There are actions that can be taken to make health care and health insurance less expensive and more accessible. Such reforms would result in better patient care and better health outcomes. That’s ultimately what politicians say they want when they pass laws impacting health care. That’s not what they got because they did it all wrong.

Health care reform requires less government, not more. And what government is needed should come from the states, not the federal government. The states, however, should resist implementing the portions of the health care law that may survive the court’s scrutiny, for the reasons I’ve described.

Government getting out of the way will allow individuals and families to be able to own their health insurance policies. Health Savings Accounts should be expanded so that patients can take advantage of that ownership. Tax advantages of insurance purchases should flow to individuals, not just businesses. Medical professionals should be able to practice their profession without regulatory burdens that decrease or make it hard to concentrate on patient care. Innovative practices that expand health care accessibility should be enlarged.

Charitable care, as an alternative to Medicaid, should be encouraged. Doctors should receive incentives to provide free or charitable care to the poor. Medicaid should be reformed to improve patient choice, care and outcomes, and the states should take the lead in what that reform looks like. Barriers to insurance sales should be eliminated, such as those that prohibit the purchase and sale of insurance across state lines. Mandates on types and content of insurance coverage should be eliminated.

All of these solutions remain available to state and federal policymakers even if the Supreme Court upholds the president’s health care takeover. The court’s ruling—whatever it is—should not be the last word on health care reform, rather it should be the start of a discussion about how to restore the traditional doctor-patient relationship that leads to better health care at a lower cost.

Wayne Hoffman is the executive director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • uncle fester posted at 2:52 pm on Mon, Jun 25, 2012.

    uncle fester Posts: 831

    Wayne you have been drinking the Kool Aid. No point in wasting my time with pointing out facts with you.

  • the floorist posted at 10:39 am on Sun, Jun 24, 2012.

    the floorist Posts: 331

    We were vacationing in Cancun, Mexico a few years ago and my wife required stitches from an injury she sustained.

    Cost for medical services to an American on a tiny island (Isla Mujeres) off the coast of Cancun: $0

    Prescription antibiotics and subtle pain killer: $15 (US)

    I "tipped" doctor Jorge $50...

    I realize this is a poor example in light of more serious health needs, but the fine people who aided us were just as kind and competent as was depicted in Cuba in Michael Moore's "Sicko". Last year I needed stitches, but was too late arriving at a "minor care facility" in Sandpoint, and instead had to go to a nearby ER (hospital.) My insurance deductible for emergencies (eventually) resulted in denied coverage because I utilized an ER in lieu of a clinic...because all the small clinics were closed. Sandpoint's ER graciously reduced my invoice by approximately 40%!!

    So, it would appear the insurance companies aren't necessarily to blame for over-priced health care, but instead it seems the care providers are gouging the insurance companies...thus a vicious circle has ensued.

  • Mahiun posted at 4:15 pm on Sat, Jun 23, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 5244

    It’s no secret that I hope the court will throw out the whole law.
    Why? What are you going to replace it with? What are you offering that's better?! Because "status quo" is simply not acceptable, not any more....

    Its requirement that everyone buy health insurance is just one outrage.
    Well then, I certainly hope you made your outrage over this idea known to the Heritage Foundation and the Republican Party, where the idea originated!

    I’ve heard from doctors and other medical professionals...
    WHICH doctors and medical professionals? WHICH small businesses? Names and contact info, please --- I'd like to vet your claim for myself. And surely, if the plan is so bad that they're going to close up shop, publicly, then they'll have no problem saying so, publicly.

    And what government is needed should come from the states, not the federal government.
    And so it will, in the form of state-organized insurance exchanges.

    Barriers to insurance sales should be eliminated...
    'That says a lot richt thee: that you are far moe concerned with selling insurance coverage --- monetizing health --- than with providing<?b> insurance coverage --- maintaining health. Some things really do properly lie beyond mere "profit"!

  • milburnschmidt posted at 3:39 pm on Sat, Jun 23, 2012.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1161

    Great ideas Just because but the president who ran against lobbyists packed his administration with plenty of them. If folks love our tax laws,TSA, Government pensions and trillions of dollars in debt they spent,drones over the land then they should love our healthcare also,

  • justbecause posted at 4:35 am on Sat, Jun 23, 2012.

    justbecause Posts: 56

    We all know its a mess and something has to be done. Until the people take our government back from corporations, the bottom dollar will always rule us. American doctors are now moving to other countries in droves and marketing to american's to get away from this system and its big corporation rule on us. A good start would be to eliminate the ability for corporations to influence our government by making lobbyist illegal.

  • milburnschmidt posted at 9:39 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1161

    If you think health care is expensive now wait till it is free. It sounds nice to think everyone will get all the healthcare they need under a single payer plan. Those who look towards europe ignore the financial trouble those countries are in. If you think medicare and medicaid for everyone is great you ignore the fact that many Drs and providers do not accept medicaid or see medicare patients. Those that do are usually in better shape from those with insurance or pay cash for their services. To think cutting out insurance companies will free up enough money to pay for all those who dont have insurance is a pipe dream.. Yes there are things that could be done like insurance across state lines,pre existing conditions and tort reform. Those who eye large sums for malpractice law suits will be out of luck also. Healthcare is available to everyone you just have to pay for it either thru savings or insurance. We have a large class of people nopw who expect us to pay for their grocery bills,rent and utility subsidies,transportation and earned income tax credits and the well will run dry one of these days. To put your hopes on a system that you have no idea what it will cover or expect from you is the height of foolishness. And to expect the buffooons in congress to do a good job is a laugh. Those who trust the Govt should remember both parties at times will call the shots on coverage and cost.

  • 986crazy posted at 8:55 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    986crazy Posts: 424

    chouli: You are right on the money!

    Wayne Hoffman just doesn't want anyone TELLING him what he must do. THAT is his real issue, The rest is just white noise.

  • chouli posted at 8:39 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    Regardless of how you feel about Michael Moore, watch his documentary SICKO for a real eye opener.

    Who doesn't have people they care about that have no health insurance and that have been denied health care because they could not pay up front for their care? I've known people of all ages, from teenage to middle age to older parents who have to go without.

    A 18 year old who had broken facial bones and went to KMC for ER treatment and told to come back for surgery to set the bones in his face, only to be turned away from KMC two days later because he had no insurance and could not pre-pay for his surgey. His facial bones had to heal as they were. He was young and not empowered enough to try other hospitals in Spokane. Sad.

    Or someone dear to me who had cancer and the insurance he did have considered it a pre-existing condition and would not cover anything. The dr ordered tests and because he could not prepay for them, they refused to help him. Refused a man with cancer for test ordered by his physician. (God bless hospice)

    A young adult (20s) who needed tests and medicine for a what he thought was a severe bladder infection turned away from a minor ER clinic because he could not prepay for his care. When he pleaded with them to help him, they threatened to call police to make him leave their facility. He was told by the minor ER clinic to go to the ER at KMC to get help even tho that costs so much $900 for what could have been treated much cheaper at the minor ER clinic, but they refused care. He had no insurance and money. And we wonder why the hospital ERs are over used!

    It is shameful. How do these people sleep at night??

    The facts are if you have no insurance, you aren't given the opportunity to make payments. You pay up front or you leave without treatment.

    Greed. Greed from the insurance companies. Greed by the pharmaceutical giants. Greed from the medical establishment...Drs, AMA. Greed all around the health care industry.

    God bless Amercia...

  • searcher posted at 7:05 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    searcher Posts: 365

    Wholeheartedly agree with all y'all that insurance companies are the biggest problem. They provide no value as the middle-men between patients and health care providers. Did you guys see that one section of Obama Care that has already been implemented just resulted in 1.1 Billion dollars in premium rebates to consumers who were insured by companies that did not adhere to the 80/20 rule. Of course, if the health care bill is tossed by the supreme court there will be no premium controls and the 80/20 rule goes away. It requires insurance companies to pay a minimum of 80% of premiums in actual health care, and a maximum of 20% in overhead and profit. That is still crushingly high when you consider overhead for medicare is roughly 3%. BTW privately run medicare plans run about 11% G&A - privatization is so wonderful - not.

    @Chouli- I don't want insurance. I want health care and I want to for EVERYONE. Right On! We are the only industrialized society in the world that does not consider health care a right that everyone should have. But then, we aren't terribly civilized sometimes in this country!

  • max power posted at 5:50 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    max power Posts: 559

    Lost in the healthcare discussion is that Congress "EXEMPTED" themselves from Obamacare! They will continue with their "QUALITY" healthcare while the general population is forced onto the "QUANTITY" rolls. DMV comes to mind. If you like your plan you can keep it was just another Obama lie!...

  • voxpop posted at 5:30 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    Wayne buddy. I hope you get fabulously sick the day after you lose any health care you might have. Then YOU can hope for charity. Ask me, I want to be first to laugh in your face.

  • mister d posted at 5:15 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Everyone in this country needs affordable health care. Having health care available isn't enough, it needs to be affordable. Insurance companies seem to be the biggest stumbling block.

  • chouli posted at 4:56 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    Thanks Flash. You're right on.

    Wayne, healthcare is not available to every American and that, my friend, is wrong. I'll give you the quick answer...GREED. It's the American way.

    This country should provide affordable health care for every citizen as many other countries already do. The only way to make that happen is to stop making health care so profitable and remove the insurance industry. They have no god given right to exist indefinately. Expand the medicare system in steps to include larger portions of the population. Single payer.

    I don't want insurance. I want health care and I want to for EVERYONE.

  • the floorist posted at 4:29 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    the floorist Posts: 331

    I wasn't too fond of the hefty fee being levied on every real estate transaction in the country.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 4:21 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1384 write like a lobbyist for the health care industry. Everyone in this country knows that health care is way too expensive and very profitable. I wonder what the "mark up" is for medical delivery and services in this great country of ours. I bet you know. Do you like the word...lucrative? Insurance companies do.

    I can fully understand why you would want the federal government out of health care regulation and delivery. I do believe the republican health care plan adopted by President Obama will be over turned. I hope it is. It means we can go to a single payer system like medicare for all that is more manageable, fair and equitable, and far less expensive. Oh wait a minute, that means the federal government will bring down costs by hopefully eliminating the need for heath care insurance companies, expanding coverage universally, capping costs and payouts and improving access.. Do you object to that?

    "Medical professionals should be able to practice their profession without regulatory burdens that decease or make it hard to concentrate on patient care"......I hope you weren't being sarcastic with that sentence because the biggest obstacle "to that" is the health care insurance industry itself. Wayne....have you ever been denied access to a particular doctor's orders/prescription because your carrier thought it unnecessary or too expensive? (who really determines what patients really get from their "doctors"?)

    I like your "charitable" suggestion though.....I can picture St Vinny's and the Salvation Army getting into the delivery of health care as I type......:)

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