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My Christmas Gift for Obama

Obama is asking for a special gift for the holidays...the gift of ideas. The daunting realities of our bureaucrat infested health care system are beginning to hit Obama hard, and he has apparently discovered that rhetoric is no substitute for ideas.

Yes, Obama has a vague Utopian vision for the future of health care in America, but no concrete ideas. The mechanisms by which Obama's dreams will be translated into hard reality have yet to be conceptualized. This is where you and I come into the picture. Obama is asking John Q. Public for help. Here it is, straight from Obama's website: "Health care is a top priority for President-elect Obama, and he wants your help in reforming the system to provide quality, affordable health care for all Americans. That's why this holiday season, we're asking you to give us the gift of your ideas and input."

You say you don't really know anything about health care? Don't worry, Obama doesn't need details--in fact he doesn't even WANT to get into details. His health care czar, Tom Daschle, has made that abundantly clear. "Details kill," he told a meeting of about 500 health care industry executives on December 5 when speaking about the Obama plan. "Once we get started, let's finish and not languish." But how do you reform the health care system in America without getting into details? Daschle has it covered. In his book, "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis," Daschle makes it very clear: "a Federal Health Board should be charged with establishing the system's framework and filling in most of the details. This independent board would be insulated from political pressure." Reading between the lines: just ram a vague bill through Congress, and unelected Obama cronies will fill in the details later. Deliberation and the democratic process are SO yesteryear.

Here's the framework of the Obama health care agenda: Through the magic of the Federal Government, Obama will provide a plan that strengthens employer coverage, makes insurance companies "accountable" and ensures patient choice of physician. Don't worry about government interference; there won't be any. Obama believes that government-run health care is wrong. (He says so on his website.) If you like your current health insurance, nothing will change, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year! If you don't have health insurance, you will have a choice of shiny new, affordable health insurance options. Merry Christmas!

But that's as far as Obama has been able to get. Planning the health care revolution, with any degree of specificity, is above Obama's pay grade. Have no fear Barack, unlike you, I have lots of ideas and suggestions. You asked for a holiday gift; I'm here to oblige.

  • Get serious about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs entice people into the health insurance market, moving away from expensive all-inclusive coverage and toward less expensive, catastrophic coverage. The tax-advantaged medical savings account is used for routine medical expenses. This contains costs by providing an incentive for judicious health care spending. People are in charge of their own money and keep the money they don't spend.

  • Make insurance portable. If the government is going to be in the business of subsidizing health care, tax credits should be directed to individuals and not to employers. This would allow people the opportunity to shop around, and would allow them to change jobs without worrying about health insurance coverage.

  • Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines. With more options for consumers and more competition between insurance companies, prices would go down and services would improve.

  • Get serious about tort reform: Patients should have access to legal remedies in cases of medical malpractice but the legal system needs to discourage endless, frivolous lawsuits.

  • Don't move toward socialist or government-run models of health care delivery. You say you think government-run health care is wrong. I agree. Government-run health care leads to lower quality, higher prices and shortages of health care services. For all practical purposes, Medicare and Medicaid amount to government-run health care, so don't expand Medicare and Medicaid.

Those are some of my ideas, Obama. Run with 'em.

Author: RightKlik


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Comments (15)

Obama has a vague view of m... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

Obama has a vague view of most everything ... Ronald Reagan said it best though -- "It isn't that Liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so."

My advice to Obama:<p... (Below threshold)

My advice to Obama:

Do something about those ears.

I think y'all can safely d... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

I think y'all can safely disregard Obama's cabinet choices as camoflage--ask yourselves this-- how many of these people LEGISLATE?

He has the power to enable his agenda in Congress.

Federal run Health Care is ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Federal run Health Care is a BAD thing. If they enact it, I think I will file attempted murder charges against Nancy Pelosi. For tha tis all Federal Health Car eis, an attempt to murder me and many like me.

And government of the lawye... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

And government of the lawyers, by the lawyers, shall not perish from the earth...

RightKlikAnd thank... (Below threshold)
JFO:

RightKlik

And thankfully it's his decisions we'll get come Jan 20 and not your ideas or suggestions.

I have news for rightklik; ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I have news for rightklik; American health care is already bureaucrat infested.

American private health insurance overhead is roughly four times the percentage of the total health costs what it is under the Canadian stream-lined single payer (government) system. 'USA wastes more on health care
bureaucracy
than it would cost to provide health care to all of the uninsured'.

After the debacle of private Wall Street banks, the waste and inefficiency of private healthcare comapanies, such as Healthcare whose ex president raked in a billion dollars in salary and stock shares, can not be far behind.

As to the results of the largely US private healthcare... U.S. 'Not Getting What We Pay For': Many Experts Say Health-Care System Inefficient, Wasteful.

I agree with Rightklik however, that Obama`s mandated incremental government program will probably not work and it will still be extraordinarily expensive. The US needs a comprehensive single payer system (partly so US companies can compete better internationally) with the private health care system 'drowned in the bathtub', but that can't be contemplated.

The author responds...<br /... (Below threshold)

The author responds...
JFO: "And thankfully it's his decisions we'll get come Jan 20 and not your ideas or suggestions."

Thats one of the points I'm making, JFO. Obama already has his mind made up. He's pretending to care what we think, but this is nothing more than propaganda. Among other things, this call for "ideas and input" is an effort to collect a bunch of health care horror stories. He will then tell these horror stories to create a sense of urgency and shove his agenda through Congress before anyone knows what they've been hit with. Brilliant, but evil.

The propaganda angle:
Daschle asks Americans for health care stories
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/dec/06/obama-health-care-120608/?zIndex=19828

JFO Stands up prond and str... (Below threshold)
tyree:

JFO Stands up prond and strong in favor of legislation by lawsuit.

Thanks Rightklick.
My father, the doctor, would have approved of your approach. Especially the tort reform part. I had to pay my own way through college back in 1974 because my fathers malpractice insurance premiums went through the roof. Some people don't realize how long the John Edwards disease has been chewing away at our nation's health care system.

Have some cheese with that ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Have some cheese with that "whine" Jason? He's pretending to care what we think - does your tinfoil give you the ability to read his thoughts.

I never thought the day would come where i'd beg the owner of this blog to do what it takes to get back Jay Tea. His posts were at least intelligent most of the time.

I believe Obama's on the ri... (Below threshold)
Pamela:

I believe Obama's on the right track by chosing to let the public give their opinions. I trust he is trying to run this country through our eyes it's obvious some people are still caught up in predjudices and cant' let go. I believe he really is trying to make a change. He is trying to Hear our point of view not, details because really, how many of us know the extent of the details. I do like to see that someone cares enough to get my opinion and I'm sure many other people are also. Why don't we take a united stand and be behind our new president. We voted him in let's see what change he can bring. Pray for all the good in the universe it will come back to us all in due time. Just think positive. Be hopeful let go of the past and let us face this bright new future. I am proud to have Obama as our president I've never felt more optmistic about our future as I do now. He is different, very organized, prioritized. He knows what to do to get things going in the right direction. He is not affluenced by powers. He has core values, instincts and a loving supportive family and wife behind him. Along with his talents. Healthcare, I would have to say having three kids I would like to be able to go to the doctor or hospital knowing that the insurance I have is covering the entire visit without the guessing game. I think your plan should be in lamen terms. I think we should have a bundled package To cover visits hospital, dentAL MATERNITY, SPECIALTY ALL IN ONE SO WE ARENT' SHORT CHANGED FOR THE MONTH IF AN EMERGENCY COMES UP AND WHAT YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE DOCTOR FOR ISNT COVERED ON YOUR PLAN. IT'S QUITE A GUESSSING GAME TO KNOW IF YOUR PICKING THE CORRECT INSURANCE FOR YOUR FAMILIES NEEDS WHEN SO MANY COMPANIES ARE CONTACTING YOU TelLING YOU THEY ARE THE BEST.Also if your a small business who has to pay out your own pocket for the entire balance of your whole families healthcare it can be a large sum of money. I currently don't have healthcare for this reason because we have a five person family and that is way to much to pay each month. I am thankful for everything we do have. I pray for those who have less to keep thinking positive. I believe good things are to come. I am working hard to make a difference myself I am not just waiting for our president to do it all. We all have something we can give. If it's just support to someone who is in dire need of support. Pocket change to someone who is hungry. Time for groups giving to people in the community that our less fortunate. Sometimes if we just look around us we will see there are so many people that need us in so many ways lets not lay these burdens on one person lets come together as communities and help as many people as we can help. You never know when your gonna need help and with good comes good. Merry Christmas to all. Love Pamela

My husband recently needed ... (Below threshold)

My husband recently needed an expensive dental procedure done and the company he works for actually gave him a credit card with a limit on it to cover the out of pocket expense (after insurance) so he wouldn't have to wait to get it done and the loan was paid back, interest free, through paycheck deductions. It worked out great for us. It kind of insured his job, too, for at least the length of the pay-back period.

If you take out the PROFIT ... (Below threshold)
Sailingwindward:

If you take out the PROFIT from healthcare premiums they would be affordable, healthcare needs to be government run because it would be affordable to everyone, most of your healthcare premium is profit advertising, millions of dollars in CEO pay and money to lobby congress, take all that out of the equation and you can cut healthcare premiums by 50-60% problem solved, but since part of the profit is to bribe our corrupted congress we will never universal healthcare.

To quote P.J. O'Rourke, "if... (Below threshold)
Boots:

To quote P.J. O'Rourke, "if you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it's free!"

The profit built into health care premiums is what enables a company to stay in business, provide jobs in the insurance business, process the claims, etc. There's an incentive to keep prices down as much as possible because your competitor might under-bid you.

If government takes over those health care business functions, the line item called "profit" will go away, to be replaced by 400 or more line items that will get fancy names like, "regional claims processing fee" and "local compliance fee" and so forth.

What will completely vanish from the health care system is decent health care itself. Government is not in the business of providing quality goods and services at a competitive price. Government is in the busines of maintaining employment for its workers. Government workers make more money, work fewer hours, get more holidays, more vacation time, get free health care, and have pensions that pay virtually 100% of their salary, with early retirement that can start in one's early 50's.

Like the Obama "suggestion ... (Below threshold)

Like the Obama "suggestion box" or not, I suggest we all cram it full of solutions and details. If Obama gives you an opening; take it, no matter how small it may be. You can squeak on your blog all day long, but if you can get enough of your readers to flood the suggestion box, perhaps the squeak becomes a roar.




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