Friday, February 26, 2010

No new ideas from Republicans on Health Reform

The two big health "reform" proposals from the conservatives have this much in common. They've been tried and don't work.

Tort reform, caps on medical claims in the legal system, have been in place for years in Texas and other states. There has been NO reduction in costs for patients. There is also no evidence of fewer unnecessary tests and procedures. It is now impossible to get a lawyer to bring a legal claim against a doctor in Texas no matter how badly he screwed up or how drunk he was, even pro-bono, because of the limitations in damages awarded. There has been a slight reduction in insurance premiums for doctors, but that has just increased their income because there has been no reduction in costs to patients.

What there has been is a big increase in insurance company profits, surprise, and an influx of bad doctors from other states fleeing malpractice lawsuits to Texas major metropolitan areas.

Insurance should be able to be purchased across state lines increasing competition and saving consumers money? The same arguments were made for credit card reform decades ago. Instead on increased competition you saw the opposite - rapid consolidation. Instead of more competitive rates and customer benefits all credit card companies consolidated in the states with the least oversight and fewest consumer protections. This will obviously also happen with medical insurance.

Either no ideas or bad ideas for the typical taxpayers - conservatives are all about helping their big corporate donors.

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