Sunday, November 7, 2010

Obamacare-Let's Rethink It

Tea Party supporters and many Republicans want to see Obamacare repealed. I think we need to be careful because there are some worthwhile aspects to it. There are also some significant things missing from it. I would say it should be reworked, not repealed.

I have a lot of respect for Bobby Jindal, the current governor of Louisiana. He used to be director of Louisiana health and hospitals department, 1996-98; executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, 1998-99; president of University of Louisiana system, 1999-2001; assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001-2003. The guy is an expert on health care.

About 15 years ago I attended a seminar on healthcare in which he was the featured speaker. His talk was impressive and informative, and I knew this guy was going places (he could be a contender for President of the US in 2012). In an article in The Wall Street Journal, Jindal explored the flaws in Obamacare and expressed his own suggestions on what would be a better solution. Below are two of his suggestions:

•Medical lawsuit reform. The practice of defensive medicine costs an estimated $100 billion-plus each year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which used a study by economists Daniel P. Kessler and Mark B. McClellan. No health reform is serious about reducing costs unless it reduces the costs of frivolous lawsuits.

•Insurance reform. Congress should establish simple guidelines to make policies more portable, with more coverage for pre-existing conditions. Reinsurance, high-risk pools, and other mechanisms can reduce the dangers of adverse risk selection and the incentive to avoid covering the sick. Individuals should also be able to keep insurance as they change jobs or states. (© The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2009)

I would ask you to encourage your senators and representative to rework Obamacare to make it better, keeping the provisions that are beneficial (such children until age 26 can be on parent’s plan; pre-existing conditions can’t be used to refuse coverage; you can’t be dropped by an insurance company because you’ve gotten sick). With the Democrats still in control of the Senate and a Democratic president, Obamacare won’t get repealed anytime soon. However, if both parties work together to improve it along the lines of Bobby Jindal’s WSJ article, then everybody wins, especially you and me.

Therefore, I ask you to email your senators and representative and encourage tem to rework Obamacare for the good of everybody.

No comments: