03 July 2009

A few points about health-care reform

I haven't written much about health-care reform because, frankly, it's a subject about which I don't know enough to contribute much. But I do have a few observations.

1) The national health systems in use in other countries vary widely in the quality of care they provide and in the degree of satisfaction that their people have with them. It's important not to rush into an ill-conceived plan here which, if implemented, might be worse than the situation we have now, when a more carefully-designed reform would produce better results. It's also important to avoid putting all our eggs in the basket of a plan which would risk rejection by the public. Any proposal under consideration needs to have a realistic chance of being enacted, or it's pointless.

2) Most things that work well, work well because of the element of competition -- if the customer can take his business elsewhere, the provider has an incentive to do a good job. Any national health plan must keep the element of competition between providers. Even if there's a single (governmental) payer, there need to be competing service providers and the ability of patients to switch from one to another to maintain the incentive for performance. The best way to do this would probably be a voucher system. Remember that while 15% of the population lacks insurance, 85% do have it, and they won't support (or allow their representatives to support) a reform which leaves them with less choice than they have now.

3) A question which will need to be addressed: Will the publicly-funded health plan serve illegal aliens? If it won't, we'll need to finally create some national system for distinguishing citizens and legal residents from illegal aliens. If the national health plan will serve illegal aliens, public opposition will prevent it from ever being implemented in the first place. A plan that spends taxpayer money to cover people who aren't even supposed to be in the country is a non-starter. It would be too unpopular. It would even risk handing the Republicans an issue they could use to revive their fortunes.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

You bring up some interesting point's here on health care reform. And I havent even thought yet of the damn illegal immigrant issue yet on it, I been so mixed up on where to take,and how to reform this system... I dont know if I'm coming or going... I sometimes think we want reform mostly because of the few bad apple's...companies that are only out to milk in other word's, or just drop folk's... I still believe there is alot of fair companies out there.... I mean look... you just had hip surgery not long ago and said it worked well and such. Even though I address this issue quite a bit... to be honest... I am mixed up as hell over how to handle this.

Have a good 4th. dude.....later..

03 July, 2009 07:10  
Anonymous annienyc said...

Excellent f'g points. thank you. :)

03 July, 2009 07:45  

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