Monday, January 31, 2011

Reform Insurance or Health Care?

I believe the quickest way to put many of those hurting out of work people back to work has not to do with creating jobs, but with creating job openings. By making it possible for the millions that would rather not be working to retire, we would be opening up those jobs to those waiting for the opportunity, and would ultimately create many open positions. Assuring health care to all, whether employed or not, without individual premium dollars would go a long way towards accomplishing this.

The critics, who keep saying we are going back to 19th century ideas don’t realize that the United States is in a position to not only provide “according to ones needs”, but to also provide “according to ones abilities” at the same time.

The lack of integrity shown us by the health insurance industry should disqualify them from engaging in the debate to reform health care. The passage of insurance reform, while an improvement over the older laws, still gives 15% or more of every health care dollar to insurance companies that are not adding any value to the system.

Health care reform has three basic requirements:
1. People should be able to chose their own doctor.
2. Doctors should be able to charge whatever they feel is appropriate.
3. Jobs that are lost should be high salary, and low impact to patient care. This means the health insurance industry.

I believe a single payer system is necessary. A Medicare type fee for service schedule, (or several different payment schemes), should be set so that doctors, clinics and hospitals that accept the set fee will get 100% of that fee. Those that charge more than the fee would get paid less than the fee, with the patient making up the difference. (This is the real opportunity for the health insurance industry.)

Funding for this universal coverage is as easy as taking the employer health insurance premiums from their schedule 5500 for the previous year and providing a tax for the same amount. No net change in expense for the employers.

We have already decided as a country to provide universal health coverage by passage of Emergency Room treatment obligations in all 50 states. By providing earlier treatment options, we could reduce expenses overall.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Moral Variation

As a navigator, I am well aware of the use of variation and deviation in compass courses. Variation is the difference between true north and magnetic north and is different as you move around the world. Deviation is the difference between magnetic north and what the compass reads and is caused my magnetic properties close to the compass. We frequently talk about a moral compass, and I believe that a person’s moral compass is also subject to variation and deviation. We are all aware of the deviation aspect of this, but tend not to look at the variation. I believe that the United States moral compass is suffering from variation that came about so slowly that most of us haven’t seen it happening.

We used to hear a lot about “Family Values”, the less we talk about values the more we seem to be ignoring two basic ones that come from the God of Abraham: Lying about our neighbors, and speaking evil of others. Because pundits have found that they can make a lot of money by creating fear and anger, they can only continue to do this by demonizing individuals. I can’t imagine anyone going into public service to do evil. People that go into the public sector generally do so because they want to improve the lives of others. Just because we disagree with their beliefs or methods doesn’t make them evil. Unfortunately it is easier for the media to profit by printing gossip than by discussing the issues that are actually the sources of disagreement. If we ignored “The Nattering Nabobs of Negativism” while monitoring our own words, we would do much better as a country.