Here are some ideas on how to reform the health care system that the average folks would probably support.
Reform Medicare/Medicaid using an independent process similar to the process used to close the military bases
As the Obama administration has found out, the process of reforming Medicare and Medicaid into a more efficient government service is a contentious process that is gradually overwhelming the health care bill. Many people using Medicare are rightly concerned that the benefits they depend on are going to be taken away and given to some other part of society. The supporters of the health care bill can talk till they are blue in the face but the Medicare beneficiaries are scared and are unlikely to change their opinion. The Obama administration has lost this battle.
Create a government sponsored health care insurance plan whose sole source of financing is insurance premiums
If the advocates of government sponsored plans are so sure they can provide better health care at a lower cost, let’s let them play in the insurance game as long as they follow the same rules as the insurance companies. If they can provide better health care at a lower cost than my insurance company and not need a bailout in two years, I am sure a lot of people will sign up. If we have “real competition” for health care customers between insurance companies and a government option, we will probably start to bend the cost curve. The biggest problem conservatives have with government option is that they envision government meddling will create another fiasco like Fannie Mae that is too big to fail. Since the previous experiments with a government sponsored health care option have failed, this experiment needs an exit strategy and a sunset clause.
Create health care insurance vouchers for people on government plans
I am sure this is going to make some liberals gag but health care vouchers can solve some problems and help reform Medicare. School vouchers are popular with voters and it puts a lot of pressure on school systems to improve performance. A similar voucher process in the health care area might be helpful.
- Some families are covered by multiple plans and would like to consolidate their health care services.
- Some doctors are not taking Medicare patients due to reimbursement rates.
- This would put increased pressure on making Medicare and Medicaid a better health insurance provider.