Next proposal: a federal regulator for insurance premiums!
And so it’s on to this week’s pointless health care summit, where we will again see:
Republicans will not propose anything of substance.
In today’s New York Times, 5 “conservative proposals” were:
1) pay providers based on “value”, whatever that means, rather than “fee for service”, which is what actually happens;
2) pay more money to those who provide better value, whatever that means and whoever they are;
3) cure more diseases and provide more health care so we don’t spend money on things we no longer need to, although we’ll be spending ever more money on doing these things until the cures arrive;
4) introduce more “regional” competition, although in most states the vast majority of insurance coverage comes from 2 or fewer providers, thus insurers will just have a greater incentive to cherry pick across state lines; and
5) limit malpractice awards, although the cost of malpractice in total amounts to a little more than 1% of total health care spending.
Republicans will not vote for any bill endorsed by the President or the Democratic majority in the Congress.
Neither party will consider a single payer system, bringing everyone into Medicare, or eliminating the link between health care and employment, or eliminating the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies, or eliminating the tax deductibility of employer-provided health care, all of which would drastically reduce health care spending and improve health care outcomes.
Americans will continue to pay 50% more annually for health care than any other nation on earth so as to achieve a life expectancy that’s less than that of Portugal (which spends less than a third as much as we do!).
Gorilla thinks: “The rhetoric is willing, but the leaders are weak!”