US Government Healthcare Objections

One of the great things about the internet, and there are many, is that people with time on their hands are prepared to do things (for whatever reason) that mainstream journalists and politicians just wouldn't even if they had time.

This blogger, for instance, seems to have read the entire House of Representatives Bill on healthcare and to have identified controversial issues within it, from his own standpoint. Meanwhile, the upmarket liberal e-zine Salon.com attempts a refutation here, without actually mentioning (I think I'm right in writing) specific passages of the bill.

I will write a fuller blog on the bill myself, in time, but there is a genuine dilemma for some Americans in embracing the proposal as it stands--and, of course, it needs to be reconciled with any Senate version and signed by the President yet. I also think that there are serious constitutional problems with it, (which I'll elaborate on later too), though whether the Supreme Court would take them up is another matter.

I thought that I'd put up a link so that people can go and see the summary of the bill from what seems at first glance a right-wing but meticulous perspective. At least that way, you can see what some of the objections are.

I should lay my cards on the table too; the lives of several people dear to me have been saved by Britain's National Health Service and in the context of this country, I think it the best thing going despite efforts to privatise it. In the United States, I think that it would be unworkable, but that some degree of government-provided healthcare at the state or federal level ought to be able to compete with private providers; whether the present vast bill would allow for that in a way most Americans would be happy with is a different matter, and I suspect that the answer would be in the negative.

Comments

Martin

"but that some degree of government-provided healthcare at the state or federal level ought to be able to compete with private providers;"

I just don't see how that can ever be fair competition though Martin. I'd far rather a means-tested voucher system so that people without insurance can buy their own.
Martin Meenagh said…
Why not? A basic provision that could be topped up, with an increased tax allowance for those who didn't qualify; the acceptance of a tribunal rather than court as a way of resolving any consequent disputes being built in for those who took the provision?

I'm not so sure fair competition is an issue for me. The insurance providers at the moment are hardly fair, and I'd far rather slightly restrict them than heavily compromise individuals. There are so many people one illness away from bankruptcy in the US at the minute.

I tell you one thing noticeably absent from the federal proposals but coming strongly in in states like vermont--tort reform. That could potentially cut costs dramatically. Then you'd have to make the insurance companies pass it on--which again would involve some element of unfairness, since compulsion or taxation are basically forms of force majeure. Accept the principle that a state can do either to feed, keep secure, or treat its citizens, though, and resolving healthcare becomes a lot easier....
"The insurance providers at the moment are hardly fair,"

That's because insurance provision is limited to state level with no cross-border competition. I suspect a more competitive market would be fairer. If customers could choose the best provider across the country, I'm sure that would focus the mind.

"I tell you one thing noticeably absent from the federal proposals but coming strongly in in states like vermont--tort reform."

Excellent. I'm sure you know why it is noticeably absent? Have you seen Charles Krauthammer's piece on it

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080602933.html
Martin Meenagh said…
NO, I haven't, but I'll have a read--cheers!

Popular Posts