I have coffee every Thursday morning with one of my closest friends here in river city; generally we manage to solve at least one major world problem every week. Today we solved the health insurance problem. My buddy is really quite smart, which makes up for me.
The solution? Ban business from providing health insurance to its employees. What would happen? Everyone would be responsible for providing their own insurance and consequently be completely outraged at their premiums, if they could afford health insurance, and (herein lies the beauty) they would demand reform from their elected officials. Hey, at least it gets us moving in a direction!
Shortly after I posted HC 101 I got a phone call from the "Presidential Coalition" represented by Newt Gingrich's "associate". He wanted me to listen to Newt's speech. I agreed. Newt went on and on about Obama's socialist agenda and how we need to get back to conservative values of the Reagan administration......hidden between the lines was Newt's testing the waters for a presidential run in 2012. When his associate got back on the line I let him have it.
This is the problem people! For the Republicans health reform is all about political positioning. Did George W. Bush offer ANY health care reform in his 8 years? Do you realize we've been talking about the problem for 16 years under both parties and have gotten nowhere? Part of the problem is that the American people generally don't know that there even is a problem. Unfortunately the GOP response is to do nothing but protest.
Here's the deal: people need health care and cannot afford it......some of you guys out there want to say that it's not a "right". OK, from the world's perspective, you are correct. From my understanding of Christ's teachings, it may not be a right.....but it is right. If you disagree with that conclusion then we are going to have to agree to disagree. If you call yourself a Christian and disagree that we should take care of people.....something is a little twisted in your theology.
So you say, but that doesn't mean that the government should provide health care. OK, I'll give you that. A hundred years ago churches provided health care. So, I attend a church of about 300 with approximately 100 family units. Multiply that by roughly $5000 for premiums and we would have a half million dollar expense in providing health insurance to just take care of our parishioners. Now, Christ didn't call us to just take care of ourselves.....so, we have to provide coverage for the indigent, poor, homeless.....you know, the people we are called to.....and maybe we're cheap and we only take care of another 10 families, or another $50k (standard 10%). So, I think we clearly see that the church cannot provide health coverage. So, as a Christian, what's the next logical step?
Capitalism, right? Let the free market system work! I got into an exchange on facebook over a poll denouncing the Obama plan as socialism. I was most amazed at the final comment made by, I'm sure, a well meaning person. She insisted that "capitalism works!!!!" Oh yeah, right. IT IS NOT WORKING, THAT'S WHY WE HAVE THE MESS WE DO! Are people that stupid? Again, I believe it is because people get all jacked up and have no clue as to the problem that's really out there.
I don't disagree that we need tort reform. The problem? Lobbyists. We also need health insurance reform....the problem is the same. My buddy told me this morning that the ratio of lobbyists working for the health insurance interests outnumber senators and congressmen 300 to 1. Did you get that? 3-0-0 to 1! So, who do you think is going to be heard? Not you and me.
As a so-called Christian and civilized nation we (collectively) need to be certain health care is provided for every individual. I'm not saying it should be a government plan. But I AM saying WE have a responsibility to provide care. So, given that statement, we need to either 1) provide health insurance to all people or 2) provide the actual care. At least insurance would provide incoming capital to cover costs.
Seriously, going back to the solution born out of coffee this morning. If businesses eliminated the cost of health insurance...it would stimulate economic growth....taking into consideration that at least some adjustment should be made to wages. This would do two things: 1) make insurance "portable" and 2) would eliminate small "pools" and instead create giant pools in each insurance company. Common sense would dictate that premiums, because of the increase pool size, should go down.....and insurance companies would also have to become more competitive. Isn't that capitalism at work? Understanding that insurance companies are the devil, and that capitalism without moral consciousness is detrimental to a society, I think there would have to be some regulatory oversight at least initially.
Now, what to do with the people who cannot afford insurance or would not purchase insurance if their place of work dropped them? One of two solutions currently being bandied around Capitol Hill. Either 1) create a government plan that one can opt in or out of or 2) a similar non-profit solution. This would create a GIANT pool that Americans may find more competitive than for-profits....which may also reduce general costs. Here you have to be careful, because tax dollars are no doubt going to have to partially subsidize this. And with this, I go back to our moral obligation for people to receive health care.
The particulars? That's why we elect people to office. It's time they start serving the public and not special interests. As far as tort reform? The answer is simple....liability caps. No, really, it IS that simple. Regarding taxpayer funded abortions and requirements of physicians to perform these.....Healthcare 103....sorry, but this has gotten way too long.