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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Dozen Health Care Reform Plans for the Health Care Reform Summit


Once again patients will not even be in the room when health care reform is discussed. Yet, I am desperately hoping that the “Health Care Reform Summit” will take into account ideas that empower patients. Patients live or die depending on how well our health care system works.

Health care reform needs to start by telling patients the prices of everything. You cannot lower prices without knowing prices. Out of control costs in health care are supposed to be why health care reform is being done in the first place. End the secret prices.

There are some excellent ideas that empower patients in the twelve health care reform plans below.

1. “The People’s Health Care Reform Plan” will end all the secrets being kept from patients now. Under this plan, prices will no longer be kept hidden from patients, and the secret inside medical information patients need to know to save their own lives will be revealed. The full plan can be found here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/02/peoples-health-care-reform-plan.html
or here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278494234024&index=1


2. “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare” by John Mackey. This plan would remove the ridiculous obstacles to setting up Tax-Free Health Savings Accounts. It would end the unfair tax burden against individuals buying health insurance, force insurance companies to compete across state lines, reduce government mandates, enact tort reform, and enact Medicare reform. Finally, this plan would also make prices transparent, just like the first plan would. See the John Mackey Plan here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html
Or on the CEO’s Blog here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html

3. “Five Ways to Reform Health Care” by governor Tim Pawlenty. The Pawlenty plan would: 1. Incentivize patients to be smart consumers. 2. Pay for performance, rewarding cures instead of procedures. 3. Enact liability reform (4) Allow interstate health-care insurance. and 5. Modernize health insurance. The Tim Pawlenty plan can be found at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/11/AR2010021103271.html

4. “Let's be Reasonable” by Richard R. Kelley, M.D. Dr. Kelly’s plan would give us “...individual choice and free market competition, tax and geographic equity, personal responsibility, and tort reform.” Dr. Kelley’s plan can be seen here:
http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_13412336

5. “Free Market Approach to Health Care Reform” by the Cato Institute. The Cato Institute would “pursue a uniquely American solution, one that builds on free markets, competition and choice.” You can see their plan here:
http://healthcare.cato.org/free-market-approach-health-care-reform

6. “The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009,” by Dr. Tom Coburn. This plan clearly aims to put patients and doctors more in control of health care decisions. Dr. Coburn sums up the plan this way: "As a practicing physician, I have seen first-hand how giving government more control over health care has failed to make health care more affordable and accessible. The American people deserve health care reform that will work, not another round of so-called reform that repeats the same failed policies of the past. Congress and the administration have the opportunity to pursue bold reform and a fresh start. The Patients’ Choice Act will provide every American with access to affordable health care without a tax increase, more debt and waiting lines.” This plan can be seen here:
www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/PCAsummary15p.pdf

7. “Ten GOP Health Ideas for Obama” by Newt Gingrich. These are ten patient-centered ideas. See the Gingrich plan here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704820904575055190217079952.html


8. “A Real Solution for Covering the Uninsured” by Peter Ferrara. This plan would start by reforming Medicaid, which is currently ensuring substandard care to the poor. This plan also creates a safety net for the poor by creating risk pools. See this plan here:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/02/15/peter-ferrara-obama-health-care-reform-medicare/

10. “Health Savings and Affordability Act of 2009,” by Steve Austria. This bill would allow a deduction for the health insurance costs of individuals and would expand health savings accounts. See the plan here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3610:

11. “Empowering Patients First Act” by Dr. Tom Price. This bill aims to reduce costs by lessening mandates and addressing tort reform. This bill also proposes State by State high risk pools for patients denied private insurance. See this plan here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3400:

12. “Health Care Freedom of Choice Act” by Michele Bachmann. This plan strongly addresses high health care costs. It would end tax credits that discouraged direct doctor-patient relationships. The plan strongly empowers who are trying to get health care insurance as individuals. The plan takes away medical decisions from bureaucrats and gives such decisions back to doctors and their patients. This plan will also allow your medical and dental expenses to be tax deductible.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.502:

12. “Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM)” by Dr. Paul Hsieh “promotes the philosophy of individual rights, personal responsibility, and free market economics in health care.” He addresses skyrocketing health insurance costs in his letter-to-the-editor of the New York Times here:
http://www.westandfirm.org/blog/2008/05/hsieh-lte-in-new-york-times.html

My qualifications for health care reform are here:
http://bradmd.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-credentials-for-health-care-reform.html

by Bradley Hennenfent, M.D., Physician & Economist

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