Archive for the ‘Health Care Reform’ Category

In case there wasn’t already enough evidence that America will never have a Scandinavian or British style government run health care system that includes both health insurance and health care the scandal at the U.S. Veterans Administration and failing to provide our military veterans the health care that they deserve is the ‘smoking gun’.
Monopolies public or private for-profit or non-profit which is what the VA health care system is a public non-profit health care system they do not work for the simple reason that their patients or customers do not have other options. So whether these services do a good job or not they are guaranteed of staying in business and continuing to operate regardless of the service that they perform. Which means they do not have the incentive that frankly most Americans need whether we work in the public or private sectors to do a good job. Because they know they’ll most likely always have a job working for that monopoly. Unless they are caught doing something so horrible that embarrasses the agency that they work for.
But that is just one problem with the VA health care monopoly. The other one having to do with the fact that since they are the only game in town when it comes to veterans health care and since this country has essentially been at war since 2001 now they have a lot more customers or veterans they are simply responsible for. And because of that are probably overwhelmed with the services they have to provide.
It seems to me at least to be basic commonsense to allow Americans who’ve risked their lives for their country and ours to simply have freedom of choice in where to get their health care. And both Congressional veterans health care reform bills provide at least some of that choice for where our veterans can get their health care in the future. The VA, or a public non-federal hospital, or get their health care from the private sector.


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The Fiscal Times: Blog: Eric Pianin: The Unintended Consequence of Expanding Medicaid

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I have a hard time believing that people on Medicaid would end up going to the emergency room more often now that they have health insurance especially for conditions that aren’t emergencies. As this article from The Fiscal Times suggests. And besides even if that is the case why wouldn’t these ER’s just turn these people away or tell them to make an appointment with one of their doctors. And come back tomorrow and if ER’s aren’t allowed to do that, than they should be allowed to.

This whole debate about Medicaid is about the fact that we do not finance it very well. And we do not finance it very well because we do not have a direct revenue source for it. Unlike Medicare and rely on general tax revenue from the Feds and states to pick up the tabs for it. And until recently before the Affordable Care Act the Feds hadn’t been paying their fair share for Medicaid. A public health insurance program that covers low-income Americans. And the Feds haven’t been paying their share under law because of the high costs of Medicaid. But you give Medicaid a direct revenue source and allow each state to run their own Medicaid program and you fix financial problems of it. And no longer have states debating whether they afford to expand their Medicaid or not.

The way to fund Medicaid would be to have a payroll tax on it that would be paid for by employers. And workers to not only cover their employees Medicaid insurance, but for unemployed workers as well. Or increase what people get on Unemployment and Welfare Insurance to pay for Medicaid as well. And we could also either give our low-income workers and expanded Earned Income Tax Credit to pay for. This or increase the minimum wage substantially to cover it as well with a break for small employers. And we wouldn’t have to worry about Medicaid financing in the future again.

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German Health Care
The Dish: Opinion: Andrew Sullivan: Healthcare Socialism 1; Healthcare Capitalism 0

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This idea that capitalism is better when it comes to producing things that people want, but socialism is better for things that people need to live well, in other words capitalism is better for producing luxury cars, cell phones, computers to use as examples, but a state-owned socialist system for producing things that people need to live well, take health care and health insurance to use as examples. Well you don’t see at least in America a lot of people calling for nationalizing the food industry.

Agriculture, grocery stores, restaurants, we all need food right. You don’t see a lot of people in America calling for nationalizing the energy industry, only the Far-Left wants to nationalize energy. And we all need and use energy to get around and keep our homes warm and cool. You don’t see a lot of people calling for nationalizing banking in this country, again only the Far-Left. We all use and need to use banks, because it is still the safest place to keep our money and we’ve all borrowed money before because we needed to that as well.

Where government comes in is to do the things that we need it to do that it is best qualified to do. And in some cases the only ones qualified to do. Like foreign policy, law enforcement, prisons, homeland security, central intelligence, regulating the markets and collecting the taxes to pay for the government that we need. Germany the largest country in Europe and the largest economy in Europe and fourth largest economy in the world is a perfect example of a country that has shown you don’t need government-run health care and health insurance to have an affordable and quality health care system.

Germany has private health insurance from cradle to grave. Their hospitals and clinics are private as well, but what they do well unlike America at least yet is properly regulate their private health care system. So their people aren’t abused by their health care providers. And every German is required to cover their own health care costs and not able to pass those costs on to others. Things that America has just started doing and their health costs are half that of the United States.

I’m tired of hearing these bogus arguments that the rest of the developed world has government-run health care which is why America should do the same thing. Or government is automatically better at delivering health care and health insurance than the private sector. Germany, France and Japan are perfect examples of countries that do not try to do everything for their people through government. Including health care and they all have better health care systems than the United States. At least when it comes to paying for their health care.

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Preventive Care

Preventive Care

Eating Better for Less | RAND.

Imagine how much money we could save on our healthcare system if Americans didn’t. Need as much healthcare in the first place. Because they were simply taking care of themselves, eating and drinking properly. And exercising but exercising properly. Meaning exercising well and doing it often like everyday. Think how much our obesity rate would fall if people did that not just for all the Americans. Who are now obese something like fifty-percent of the country. But how many Americans would avoid ever being obese in the first place because they. Are eating and drinking properly and exercising and exercising properly. Not looking for the nearest escalator every time they enter a building or a stadium to get. To the office or their seat but looking for the steps especially if the steps are closer and. Would allow them to get to where they are going faster. This is what preventive care is about taking care of yourself upfront and long-term. So you do not face health problems in the future that you probably won’t be able. To afford to deal with on your own.

I’m not for having government force people to take care of themselves for a couple of. Reasons both philosophical and practical that it’s not the job of government to run our. Lives unless we are in jail or prison but also because government can’t do that it’s. Simply impossible and government is a hell of a lot better at passing laws then they are. At enforcing laws because they have a tendency. To pass laws and then figure out later even when there was clear evidence upfront that. The law wouldn’t work or figuring out that they simply do not want to spend the money. To enforce the law or no longer agree with it. But what government can do is encourage people to take care of themselves. By having them pay for their bad health decisions on their own and rewarding them when. They make good health decisions which is what a junk tax is about as well as. Health food and drink rebate would be about as well. Having people pay for their bad decisions themselves and rewarding them when they make good decisions.

Under a healthcare system like this along with everyone having access to affordable and. Quality health insurance and healthcare by everyone paying for their own healthcare as. Best they can to go along with people being forced to pay for their own bad health. Decisions themselves and rewarding them when they make good health decisions by. Encouraging them to do it again like with rebates for health food and drinks, we would. Bring down our healthcare costs to the point that we. Would be competitive with the rest of the developed world.

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Illinois Medicaid

Illinois to feds: Enough!.

I agree with Illinois here, think about it, they have a Democratic Governor. And we have a Democratic President, so Illinois should have some credibility here. Medicaid the Government Health Insurer for the poor, working and otherwise. Is an example of Big Government Gone Wild and the Federal Government trying to run by themselves. Or direct how this program is run but force the States, including Illinois. Without the resources, which is what an Unfunded Mandate is. So what Illinois is asking is for something very basic, being able to go after Illinois Medicaid Cheaters on their own. And not have to ask Uncle Sam permission to blow their nose. They are in the State where this Medicaid Fraud is happening. Its costing Illinois money and they want their money back. Money that Uncle Sam obviously is not going to reimburse them. He has his own debt and deficit issues to deal with. And so does Illinois, just passing a large Middle Class Tax Hike in 2011.

What we should do with Medicaid, is turn it over to the States. And let them set up their own Medicaid Systems. That would have to meet basic Federal Standards and would be regulated by the Feds. But where the Feds would no longer have a role in running the program. Again the main problem with Medicaid is that its an Unfunded Mandate. So we also need to make to Self Financed, which would save the States a lot of money. Money they could use for education, Infrastructure Investment. Law Enforcement, Tax Cuts etc, money they don’t have now because of their Medicaid Costs. So we can make Medicaid Self Financed, by having its customers and their employers. Pay for it, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit. So these Low Income workers can finance their share of their Medicaid Costs. Unemployed Consumers of Medicaid would get their Public Assistance checks. Expanded to cover their Medicaid Costs and an additional Healthcare Credit.

Medicaid doesn’t work as well as it should, because its a Centralize Unfunded Mandate. Which is how programs were designed back in the Great Society era. And we need to fix both of those issues in order to make Medicaid as efficient as possible.

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Source: Chicago Tribune: Editorial- A Change For Better Treatment

Our Mental Hospitals in America have been historically been underfunded and today are still are. And with the “Great Recession”, its become even harder to fund our Mental Institutions. As well as Out Care that Mental Patients get when they are not institutionalized. Because our Mental Hospitals tend to not be Self Financed. And the revenue that comes to fund these Hospitals, generally has to come out of General Revenue. From governments and because of the “Great Recession”, funding our Mental Hospitals. Has become even more difficult to finance, especially since they have to compete with other Public Services. That have already been cut themselves. Like Infrastructure Investment, Public Education, Law Enforcement, Public Safety and other priorities. And some governments like in Illinois, because they are so financially strapped. Have looked to other ways in order to fund their Mental Health in Illinois. Like transferring some of their Mental Patients to Private Facilities. Where they can get their care there and have closed some of their own Public Mental Hospitals as a result.

So what we need to do with our Mental Health System, is to make it Self Financed. So it funds itself, especially for people who have to be institutionalized. Doing things like requiring all Health Insurers in the United States. Whether they are Private or Public, to have to cover Mental Health. This alone would make it easier to fund our Mental Hospitals. For our Mental Patients who can afford their stay in a Mental Hospital. Out of pocket or their family can afford to pay for it. Have those people pick up the costs for their Mental Health or their relatives Mental Health. Have all Mental Patients that are in Mental Hospitals. That can’t afford to stay in a Mental Hospital, whether its private or public. Let them be eligible for Public Assistance, things like Unemployment, Welfare or Disability Insurance. Or for their employer, if they still have a job. Have them pay these patients, lets say up to a year in salary. So these Patients can cover their stay in a Mental Hospital. Allow Mental Patients to also be eligible for things like Medicaid or Medicare. Food Assistance and other Public Assistance. To cover their stay in a Mental Hospital.

There are ways that we can better fund our Mental Health System in America. That doesn’t eat resources from other Public Services or doesn’t force us. To cut to the bone when it comes to delivering quality Mental Health. Or force our Mental Health System to compete with other Public Services. When it comes to revenue, by just making our Mental Health System Self Financed.

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