Monday, September 21, 2009

Health Care

[from John] We’ve talked about various aspects of a Universal Health Care System; however, we’ve never addressed the mechanics of writing such a bill. We know that HB 3200 is more than 1000 pages long. Who wrote that bill? Staff members? Doubtful. What are the qualifications of those who wrote the bill? Were any lobbyists involved? Writing such a bill must be expensive, see the sample bill below. Where does the money come from?

I’m curious!

A Universal Health Care System

Section 1. Introduction
Section 2. Funding
Section 3. Transition (from Medicare Medicaid to the new system)
Section 4. Tort Reform
Section 2a. Registered medical practitioners.
Section 2b. Hospitals and clinics
Section 5. Standardized Electronic Accounting System
Section 6. Corporate/University/Government R&D programs
Section 6a. Medicines
Section 6b. Equipment
Section 6c. Procedures
Section 7. Re-apportion duties between Doctors, Nurse Practitioners and Nurses.
(allow NPs and RNs to perform routine medical duties now required of doctors.)
Section 8. Establish clinical system to relieve emergency rooms work load.
Section 9. Catastrophic Insurance
Section 10. Health Maintenance Accounts
Section 10a. Fund maintenance and accountability
Section 10b. Personal accounts
Section 10c. Functions and procedures
Section 11. Procedures not covered by Sections 9 and 10
Section 11a. Private health Insurance
Section 11b. Indigenous personnel


Howard Pattee said...

I don’t know how such complex bills are written, but I do know US health care is too complex to work efficiently. My family has had experience with British and Swedish health care, having lived in both countries with small children. We also have family in Canada that are very happy with their health care.

I find Medicare the closest system in the US for performance, but it is clearly not as cost-effective. If you want an objective, data-based view of health care around the world, I suggest T. R. Reid The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. (Reviews on Amazon).

He points out that as many as 80 million Americans are already covered by systems nearly identical to the British or Canadian systems (Medicaid, Medicare, military, Veterans Adminisration, etc.)

The profit motivated US health care industry is the largest industry by far. It is four times larger that the military. Economically, the US health industry would be the world's 8th largest country. It is no wonder we are powerless to get an efficient system like the rest of the developed world.

JohnS said...

Howard, I have socialized medicine, a combination of Medicare and military retirement. The quality of care is outstanding. I chose my own doctors etc. It does not cover dental of eye care. I suspect it is very expensive. I do know it is a burden on the military budget.
The Universal Health Care System whose sections I listed is my thoughts of how a new system could be designed. I have a more detailed version if anyone is interested.
Once the system is operational the government responsibility reverts to oversight consisting of funding, limiting the funds to x% of GDP, requiring a universal electronic accounting system, auditing the system and sharing with the private sector the duty of defining and costing the procedures that will be allowed as catastrophic insurance and health maintenance accounts.
The private sector will administer the system. Catastrophic Insurance funds and the Health Maintenance Funds will be turned over to a consortium of financial institutions who will administer and disperse the funds as required. Thus the funds will be removed from government control. Congress will not be able to “borrow” from the funds as they have done with other programs in the past. The government will define the requirements of catastrophic insurance, however insurance companies can vie for customers by offering either extra unfunded benefits or lower premiums. Each citizen will have a Health Maintenance Account which he will own and draw upon as he seeks medical assistance.
Once the system is operational the government's duties will be funding, auditing and updating, along with the private sector, the system as needed.