I have heard so much about healthcare reform. I would like to know if there is a truly conservative option that we could get behind. I have decided to put my own ideas down and would like for others to chime in, add, show me where I'm wrong and, hopefully, someone smarter than me will make a legitimate proposal that is NOT just a Republican sponsored idea for "One Size Fits All Government Control of Healthcare".
My Healthcare reform.
Part 1. Each state shall be responsible for the governance of the healthcare within that state. There shall be NO federal funding whatsoever. The federal government will roll back taxes as it winds down current federal programs like medicaid and medicare so that state can decide how best to get their own funding for new state run programs.
a. States will be given 2 years notice that all medicare and medicaid related federal programs will be ending. This will give the states time to decide how or if they wish to cover those people within their own state. Medicaid and medicare will be ended starting in the year 2012.
b. Each state should, but would not be required to, come up with a plan to cover those within the state that they deem incapable of providing their own health insurance. At the state level, voters would have much more control over who they feel should be covered under such plans, and it would be far easier to eliminate waste.
Part 2. The federal government will streamline regulations on getting new drugs to market and will extend the amount of time that a drug company can hold exclusive rights to a newly developed drug to 10 years or the amount of time in which a competitor could reasonable have been expected to develop a drug themselves. This way if two drug companies are working on similar paths, the one that gets their first does not render the others work completely lost. This will increase private funding into new drugs.
a. Government funding into medical research will be greatly reduced and limited to diseases that affect large portions of the population. All government funding should be repaid if that funding leads to the development of a sellable drug.
Part 3. All Federal regulations limiting competition among insurance companies will be eliminated but states will be free to allow whatever level of competition within their state that they like. It would be highly advised for each state to allow as much competition as possible, but that would be up to the elected representatives within each state.
a. This is where I see so many conservatives saying that they are for federal laws requiring a certain amount of competition. Federal laws against monopolies should apply, but it is still not right for the federal government to dictate to the states. If a state decides to have a list of coverages that MUST be applied to all policies, that state does so at it's own peril.
b. My recommendation to the states would be to allow as many insurers as possible with as limited or as extensive an insurance program as they wish to offer.
Part 4. Tort laws should be reformed at a state to state level with one federal law overriding them all. Under ones right to property, one should be protected from being sued beyond the actual damages in any and all instances.
a. States should reform their tort laws to protect all from unreasonable law suits. Plaintiffs should be allowed to sue for that amount of money that makes them whole. No person should be allowed to sue someone else for their own stupid actions. If you decide to climb the wall at a local mall and fall off ..... I'm sorry but you don't get to sue the mall. No more tobacco lawsuits. I've been taught since grade school (damn near 30 years ago) that smoking was very bad for you. A homeowner should not have to worry about someone walking accross their property, tripping on a tree root and hurting themself. If you leave an obvious hazard on your property, and someone invited onto your property gets hurt your insurance should take care of the damage, but uninvited guests on private property are at their own peril.
b. Punitive damages should not be given to the plaintiff but rather put into a fund to go toward whatever public health program is offered in that state. Punitive damages should only be applied when it is clear that a professional was clearly being negligent or violating the rules set forth by boards in his/her profession. Human error should not result in punitive damages.
Part 5. The federal government should eliminate the tax break for luxury healthcare coverages. I'm generally not for eliminating tax breaks but deductions should be limited to necessities and a $900 healthcare plan just so you can save $80 on a doctors visit is not a necessity. It is a large part of the problem. Only catastrophic plans should be tax free. If all Americans had a $5000 deductible health care plan and paid for everything else out of pocked you would see costs come down for 2 reasons.
a. first all Americans would shop around for the most reasonably priced primary care
b. Second people would only goto the doctor when they really need to.
Government should then push the idea of health savings accounts as fully deductable and tax free IRA's. You put away the $400 per month you are not spending on an HMO or PPO and you put it into a tax free account. Withdrawals for healthcare, fitness, or wellness are tax free and if you don't use it you can put it towards retirement and a senior healthcare plan.
Part 6. Healthcare deductions should not be for employer provided healthcare. People need to pay for it or they won't care what they pay. We see that every April 15. If people actually had to pay their taxes they would care more what they are. Also if people buy their own healthcare it will not be an issue transferring between jobs. Healthcare companies could sell health insurance like life insurance and try to keep customers for life. Example: If a 20 year old elects to pay an additional $15 per month to a lifetime premium they could be guaranteed healthcare from retirement on with a private plan.
I'm sure I've missed some things in my plan but the primary part is that all healthcare should be done away at the federal level.