Tag: politics

Baby Steps to Healthcare Reform

Since I’m sure all members of Congress will have the opportunity to read and comprehend the entirety of whatever is the current healthcare legislation the following small steps to improve the situation will be meaningless. I have 3 simple proposals that could fit on a single page. Heck, it fits in a single post.

  1. Eliminate pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny insurance.
  2. Allow insurance companies to sell in any market in the US.
  3. Malpractice reform — Loser Pays

I think the first 2 are self evident so lets focus for a moment on the third.
Loser Pays
What I mean is that all legal fees will be paid by the losing party to the litigation. This would include naming a doctor in a med mal suit and then dropping them from the suit.
You see, just because a doctor gets dropped from a suit doesn’t mean that his malpractice carrier doesn’t incur costs. In fact, it’s usually about $20K to defend a suit that is dropped.
Interestingly, anytime a doc is dropped from a suit, they must sign a release stating that they will not sue the plaintiff’s attorney. I once tried not to sign this but my lawyer told me he’d never seen it done before.
Yeah, I know, it doesn’t solve many of the problems facing our healthcare industry. But I bet it would improve the situation with minimal effort.

Filed under: medicineTagged with: ,

Nationalized Healthcare and the Free Market

Nationalized/Universal healthcare will happen. Obama ran on it and he intends to deliver. What’s more, I can see a manner in which the country will flock to it under the current free market insurance system.
First, the federal government will expand Medicaid to cover the unemployed and uninsured. Second, the Congress will pass some law that mandates employers to provide health insurance for not only full-time employees, but part-time employees too.
Oh, by the way, the federal government will also make available a _government-sponsored_ insurance plan to _compete_ with the other available HMO and PPO choices. Of course the government plan will cost you (the employer) 40-50% less than the next most expensive plan.
You (the employer) will offer your employees the _government plan_ as per the terms of the new law and they (the employees) will have the option of spending almost twice as much for a different commercial plan. I don’t really expect many employees to avail themselves of the opportunity to spend more money for little perceived increase in services.
Soon 80-90% of the country will be on the _government plan_ and physicians and hospitals will effectively have a single payor.
Welcome to nationalized/universal healthcare.

Filed under: medicineTagged with: ,

Election Postmortem

Barack Obama is the POTUS-Elect. Congrats. I’m so glad it was decisive and isn’t going to have lawyers involved. I have to say I called this in November, 2007 and wrote about [Obama][1] four years ago. I wish him all the best our country needs it’s best and brightest working together.
Prop. 8 in my home state of California hasn’t yet been decided officially but with 95% of the precincts reporting it is passing by 4%. Personally, I’m glad the citizens got to vote this issue and the legality isn’t going to be decided by a 4 judges who disagreed with a similar ballot measure from 2000 that passed with about 61% of the vote.
Back to your regular unscheduled programming.
[1]: https://thefragens.com/2004/11/sen-barack-obama-d-il/

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with:

Washington Priorities

The current financial meltdown is the news of the day and the politicos in Washington are trying to fix/solve the problem.
Why is it then that the solution is 400+ pages long and contains crap like money for wooden arrow makers and wool studies?
Is Washington so riddled with ADD that they can’t keep their eye on the ball and produce legislation that does only ONE thing?

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: