Healthcare Reform: Suggestions other than Government Control Part 1:

by CJFosdick on September 16, 2009

Very few Americans cannot see the need for healthcare reform, myself included. However, the majority of Americans, around 80%, do not feel that the Federal Government needs to take over the running of healthcare in order to fix what needs to be fixed and are happy with their health insurance they have now. Below are my suggestions, other than government control, to fix what needs to be fixed in healthcare reform:

•TORT REFORM — Law suits against medical personnel has become a billion dollar industry. Doctors today pay massive amounts of money for malpractice insurance to guard themselves from frivolous and massive lawsuits. Trial lawyers are getting rich in these lawsuits at the expense of the common people, and doctors and nurses are being run out of the healthcare profession.  In fact, this is how John Edwards, former presidential candidate, made his millions — that is handling lawsuits against doctors and other medical personnel.

Two things need to be done: (1) Put a top limit on the amount of money a person(s) can collect from a lawsuit. Right now some states have such laws. (2) Have a method of screening lawsuits to keep frivolous cases from ever getting to the judge and jury stage.

In his speech before the joint Congress, Obama opened the door for tort reform, but unfortunately not very wide, because he is suggesting that tort reform be tried only in a state or two to see if it works. It seems to me that a more extensive tort reform is desperately needed and is needed now. Why wait and fiddle around a few years? This is one of the main reasons for the high cost of health insurance.

•OPENING HEALTH INSURANCE ACROSS STATE LINES — Right now, health Insurance is handled state by state, which not only makes it cumbersome, but also keeps the cost higher. The more competition that can be generated between private insurance companies, the lower the cost becomes. Auto insurance has proved this, by having auto insurance companies competing nationwide. By opening up health insurance nationwide, much more competition between companies would happen, as well as providing better coverage, thus driving the cost to the individual down.

•HAVE PRIVATE COMPANIES OF WORKERS JOIN TOGETHER — A bigger workforce can be represented cheaper than one individual. The less number of workers seeking health insurance from a company, the more costs go up. For example, all retired public workers here in Colorado can get health insurance through PERA (Public Employees Retirement Association) thus cutting the cost to each individual. Another plus of this is written into the contract, namely that an individual cannot be cut from his/her insurance because of a pre-existing condition or some other such cause. Nor can the cost of insurance go up to an individual; cost increases go across the board to everyone insured in the mutual plan. The individual can be cut for non-payment, however, but not for some whim of an insurance company, like claiming acne is a pre-existing condition where insurance can be cut, an example President Obama talks about.

Above are three of my suggestions other than federal control of healthcare reform to bring about much needed changes healthcare here in America. In my next blog I will continue with my list of suggestions. They seem so simple to accomplish and so necessary to cutting healthcare costs.

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