BOTH BELA PELOSI and Doctor Zero, when they dare us in the right to come up with our own proposals, then assert we have none.
Bald. Faced. Lies.
But it’s in the mode of put-up-or-shut-up, that I offer this:
First: Stop lying. Claims that the Right has no solutions are risible. Assertions of a crisis in health care when there is none are despicable panic mongering. Statements as of fact that the existence of a so-called “public” (read: “government”) “option” will not eliminate other alternatives is tendentiously disingenuous. Argument that a system which includes tax penalties for non-compliance is a voluntary, optional matter of choice is… well, no better term exists for it than a lie.
All these misrepresentations do not advance your argument. The American people are wise to you and your mendacity is, to a large part, driving the resistance you are presently experiencing.
Now: for the solution. Reform the tax code so that the perverse incentives toward employer-paid health “insurance” are eliminated. Permit the self-employed to write-off their medical expenses under the same conditions as corporations.
Encourage more spending on medicine and less on “insurance.” More money is spent on insurance than on medicine. It is the insurance that keeps going up in price. By eliminating insurance from day-to-day medicine, you immediately cut “health care” costs at least by half.
What? You don’t think that more money is taken in by insurance companies than is paid out on expenditures? You believe that any business can operate year after year with a negative margin? More the fool you if you do. Trust me: the insurance companies are no fools. They intend to make a profit. They will always charge on average more than they pay out.
From the perspective of the insured, therefore, first-dollar health care “insurance” is a waste of money. Only government “subsidies” in the form of tax breaks keep the system alive at all. If the perverse tax incentives were to be removed, the system would collapse of its own bloated weight. Sound familiar?
Enact tort reform. There is no need to deny “the rights of harmed patients,” as one panic-mongering attorney attempted to assert. There is merely the need to rein in the greed of attorneys seeking fat contingency fees.
My first choice would be to eliminate the manifest injustice of punitive damages. If something is unlawful, thus worthy in justice of punishment, then the matter should be pursued in a criminal court. Civil damages awards should and must be limited to — here’s a radical concept for you — actual damages.
Second would be loser pays. Again, there is no denial of rights for genuinely aggrieved plaintiffs. There is however a crying need to prevent greedy lawyers from taking a flyer on the offchance it may pay off — nothing ventured, nothing gained, and nothing to lose for trying. This to me defines frivolity.
Third would be a bitch-slapping of the deep pockets “principle.” (Scorn quotes because it is in truth a lack of principle the concept illustrates.) Only those persons — natural or corporate — actually parties to a situation should be held liable for bad acts. The contention otherwise should be seen as deliberate social sabotage — a drilling of holes in the bottom of the lifeboat of society, a lie intended to tear down the structure of a country for personal gain and no other — akin to treason, committed without resort to arms. Such behavior certainly should not be rewarded.
Fourth and finally would be a limit placed on attorney fees. Yes, an attorney may accept a contingent fee arrangement, but the limit on its value should be no more than the least plaintiff receives. No more should we countenance victorious plaintiffs getting a check that won’t even cover their phone bills in the matter, while the attorneys get millions or billions. I would prefer to see contingency fees eliminated, but understand that such might price counsel out of the reach of all but the wealthy. Don’t want THAT, either.
Make it a stated principle that the Federal Government has no business meddling in private medical affairs and will act to remove utterly its influence from the market in medical care by a date certain — no more than ten years in the future. This provision to be enforceable against individual members of Congress for failure of fiduciary duty if it is not fulfilled.
And, by the way, I’d even go further and urge the removal of the word “medical” in the first sentence of the paragraph above.