Saturday, October 9, 2010

Health care Post Debate

In comments after the debate Ron Johnson stated that he favors replacing the healthcare measure with smaller more targeted bills and that he would make sure that pre-existing conditions are covered.  His entire campaign has been stating exactly the opposite since day one.  Once again he is trying to have it both ways.  So, rather than the massive over reach of the current legislation he would favor having some control over the industry.  His entire campaign has been about letting the market work and all government regulation is bad.  Maybe he needs to watch his own ads, the one that states "a new government program that saves money".  The market decided that pre-existing conditions have the potential to cost more money.  This is why premiums are more expensive or coverage denied outright.  How would he fix this without doing what the reform does?  Mandate coverage but take off the meager cost control (3 times the rate of a non pre-existing condition policy)? 

This is what Ron Johnson states on his website:

"Ron will vote to repeal the Health Care Bill and replace it with market-based solutions that will include: portability, malpractice reform, mandate reduction, insurance purchase across state lines, lower costs, and a safety net for those with pre-existing conditions.
The Health Care Bill is a $1 trillion experiment that will lead to higher cost, lower quality health care and rationing by government bureaucrats.  A free- market approach to health care reform is critical to ensuring doctors and patients stay in control of the decision-making process.  The free market is essential for the development of new drugs, treatments and medical procedures that will save lives and keep our country on the forefront of medical innovation.
The Health Care Bill will further bust an already broken budget.  Obama Administration estimates are simply not believable.  When Medicare was passed in 1965, the government estimated its cost in 1990 would be $12 billion.  The actual cost in 1990 was $111 billion…nearly ten times the original estimate.  The estimated cost of the Health Care Bill will not be any more accurate."

There are no specifics in his plan.  Doctors and patients do not have control of the decision making process now.  Who is he kidding, the insurer has that control.  When you go to pick-up a prescription and the pharmacy says that it will be full price because the doctor prescribed something that is not on the list or was taken off the list.  Then you have to either pay (which isn't a problem for him) or go back (driving up costs) and get something else prescribed.  If the new drug doesn't work you have to back again and again until you either exhaust all alternatives so that you can get what was originally prescribed or you find something that works.  Yeah, the doctors and patients are in control.  The insurers deny coverage for certain conditions such as "autism", which Sharon Angle said the new law would cover and she doesn't want to pay for.  Would Johnson's reforms cover this?  Come on Ron let us have the specifics.  I have a feeling that once it is fleshed out we will be at a series of reforms that are substantially similar to the current law.  The current law is not perfect for example I favor a system of private insurance that is heavily regulated with cost controls.  What we have now and going forward is a system that shifts costs from those who can pay to those who can't and allows the price of drugs in this country to essentially subsidize the drug costs in countries that regulate the price of drugs.  These and other factors (high salaries, shiny buildings, greed) lead to premium increases that far exceed the rate of inflation.  You would think that a businessman (who claims to provide health care to his employees) would be concerned about premium increases that are averaging 6% (inflation at 0) this year.  The current law doesn't control price (obviously) and I'm sure that Mr. Johnson's proposal won't control price because that would be against his nature of free market solutions (which is the current system except for the poor, the seniors, and the military).

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