Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obamacare Inflection Point

Never mind all the bloo-hah about too fast or too reckless. The problem with Obamacare is that Democrats don't like it. Here's Donald Lambro quoting Democrats:

"I don't like the idea of raising taxes in the worst economic crisis since World War II," said Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, chief negotiator for the Blue Dogs. He warned his party last week that "there's no way they can pass the current bill on the House floor. Not even close."

In the Senate, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said he could not vote for a bill financed by a tax on employee healthcare benefits, warning that his party could lose 10 to 15 Democrats if such a tax ended up in the bill.

So, now the question is: what do we do next? Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has some ideas. First of all, he lists the three dishonest selling points in the Obama campaign.

  1. People can keep their existing health insurance. No they won't, not with a "public option."
  2. Quality won't be compromised. Oh yeah? With the government in the middle between patient and doctor?
  3. The massive new benefit won't cost anything to the middle class. Here, I gotta bridge I want to sell you.

Well, this is baloney, Jindal says, and the Democrats know it. So let's abandon the partisan game of three-card Monte, and let's try a bipartisan approach,

Here is Gov. Jindal's proposal.

  • Transparency: posting prices and outcomes on the Internet.
  • Consumers should benefit when they lower their own healthcare costs by better health care shopping or by healthier lifestyle.
  • Medical lawsuit reform.
  • Insurance reform. Make insurance more portable and cover more pre-existing conditions.
  • Pooling for small businesses, self-employed, etc.
  • Pay for performance in bringing down the 75% of healthcare dollar that goes for chronic conditions related to lifestyle
  • Tax credits to the poor to help them buy health insurance policies.

There. That wasn't that hard, was it. But it reflects the reality of real life. In real life you get to improve things a little bit at a time. You don't get to be the savior of the nation, Mr President.

The best thing is to keep saviors confined to religion and the moral/cultural sector. It's best to keep them out of politics.

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