Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Algebra of Health Care

Obama's wish list for Health Care governance was an exercise in good algebra and, quite frankly, a relief.


Like the vast majority of Americans, I want health care to provide a universal safety net of care for every citizen. Schools cannot remedy children's poor health care or no health care care at all. Obama's plan as outlined will remove one of the key poverty related handicaps many students face. And that's a key to reducing family stress and personal insecurity in so many lives.

But something that critics fail to realize is that for such a plan to work, we cannot afford to cherry pick elements that are politically popular and dispose of the rest. Obama's plan recognizes the importance of algebraic planning.

Preventative medicine can balance the cost of reactionary and remedial treatment. That saves money.

Regulating insurance to eliminate health care caps and refusing service due to existing conditions yields a surprising by-product. That is that malpractice lawsuit awards will be reduced in scope because the victim of unanticipated circumstances will not need to worry about proper life-long care to the degree that they do today. The regulation will help balance the drivers of expensive settlements.

And critics (including MSM pundits whose shows are financed by drug companies) have been trashing the public option of a government insurance plan as a leftist concoction. This back-handed slander of the political left thinly veils the agenda in play.

The public option is first and foremost a government program. But so is the post office and FedEx makes a tidy profit nonetheless.

But aside from the non-profit nature of the exercise, there is gold in the details. The public option will for the first time establish a baseline set of standards for consumer protections. And that is key. This will eliminate the fine print gotchas that so dictates our current frustrations with health care. That alone eliminates needless bureaucracy and delayed payments as well as reduces the care-givers paperwork.

The whole is better than the parts as far as I can tell. Thinking parents will support this with enthusiasm. Healthier kids and peers mean fewer headaches for parents and fewer head-cases in schools.

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