Tuesday, April 07, 2009

"Fannie Med"

Every once in a while an article from another health care blog will cross my desk and it will catch my eye. Richard Scott's post Patient-based Health Reform or "Fannie Med?" at The Health Care Blog really resonated with me.

His insight, as well as his analogy to the mortgage meltdown which was created by government intervention in the free market, is spot on.

He also outlines his reasoning for the conflict between "universal care" and "patient rights" in a way that almost everyone will nod their head in agreement.
Anything that interferes with an individual's freedom to consult their doctor of choice to make health care decisions defeats the purpose of meaningful health care reform.
He further states what he terms the "four pillars" of health care reform as it relates to patient rights.

True health care reform must involve choice, competition, accountability and responsibility.

He rejects the idea of what amounts to a health care tribunal where bureaucrats decide what is best for patient care and interfere's with the doctor-patient relationship.

With regard to competition, he has this observation.
eliminating state regulations on health insurance would allow for broader competition and lower prices for consumers.
Currently each state regulates all insurance products, not just health insurance. The result is, what is covered under a Georgia health insurance policy may not be covered in Ohio and vice versa. Sometimes it seems lawmakers at the state OR federal level have nothing better to do than dream up more laws to justify their position and find ways to spend money they don't have.

We have addressed some of the problems associated with mandates before including black & white and blind ambition post just to mention a few.

Mr. Scott also addresses accountability which goes without saying. If no one is held accountable for their actions then reform is a free-for-all. That didn't work, so let's try this.

Kind of like your doctor saying "oops" in the middle of a tedious procedure.

His last pillar is personal responsibility . . . something that seems to be lacking across the board including our current system. It seems as if no one wants to pay for anything and expects carte blanche treatment.

What are they smoking?

He also warns us of problems that exist in other countries where "universal care" has been the norm for some time.
Because of budget constraints, regulators in the United Kingdom dropped pap smears for women under 25. The result - young women are dying of cancer that could have been treated if the cancer was discovered in its early stages. Many Canadians have to wait months for diagnostic tests to determine whether their tumors are malignant, giving cancerous tumors time to worsen, spread and progress to an irreversible stage.
Somehow Michael Moore and the main stream media never wants to report that. Wonder why?

And here is an eye-opener.
Worse, the danger of Washington's recent willingness to spend inordinate sums of money on anything deemed to be a problem, is that we are conditioning ourselves to believe that our government has unlimited resources - and that any problem can be solved by simply spending vast amounts of cash. What politician wants to be in office when it comes time to admit we can no longer spend for services we have come to expect?

Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's failed experiment to improve home ownership for "low and middle income families" should be a wake-up call to those who believe more government involvement in American healthcare will help "low and middle income families". These two initiatives resulted in politicians being accused of receiving favored treatment, low and middle income families being forced out of their homes and a federal bailout that could cost taxpayers as much as $2.5 trillion. We never envisioned politicians receiving favored treatment, the housing meltdown caused by the expansion of these programs, nor the unbelievable number of low and middle income families being evicted from their homes with their life savings depleted. It's not difficult to imagine similar results under a national health care system.
This is something I have been saying for months. Perhaps Mr. Scott has been reading my posts or maybe we are channeling each other.

I particularly liked his "Fannie Med" term. I think I might just steal that, especially since we are already in sync on so many other things.
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