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"No Ideas on Healthcare Reform"

This article first appeared on Feb 10, 2010.

With all due respect to the President, claims that Republicans "do not have any ideas" about Healthcare Reform is disingenious (at best) and outright dishonesty (at worst).  For the best part of his first year in office, President Obama and Congressional Democratic leaders have been attempting to ram through legislation that would raise cost and taxes on those who currently have insurance while devolving their quality and choices.  They attempted this political steamroll refusing to allow Republicans to participate in the process, blocking all Republican efforts to offer amendments, and, ultimately, failing to muster enough support for it to even get it past their own conference. 
Now in the face of that failure, the President is calling for "bipartisanship" requesting Republicans to "come to the table".  Unspoken in the request, he apparently expects them to participate in advancing the Democrat’s bill with his exertion limited to "listening to their ideas".  Effectively, it sounds as if "bipartisanship" to the President means: Republicans working with Democrats to pass Democrat’s legislation.
Sorry Mr. President, if you truly seek "bipartisanship", feel free to "come to the table" as a NEGOTIATOR - not a DICTATOR. 

  1. Break the bad news to Reid, Pelosi, and the rest of the kook liberal fringe that their higher taxes / higher spending / lower quality / "Single-Payor" wannabe legislation is dead
  2. Announce an immediate change to the process and tone by which Healthcare Reform will be carried out – specifically, individual reforms will be introduced and debated as individual pieces of legislation (addressed and negotiated on their merits)
  3. Start with a reasoned approach to deal with Pre-Existing Conditions and Coverage
  4. Portability to deal with two of the biggest consumer-related issues for Americans
  5. Expand the ability of consumers (especially small business and individuals) to participate in larger pools to provide benefits of scale to a greater population
  6. Follow up with Tort Reform,  allowances for sale Across State Lines, and removal of Coverage Mandates (which require specific coverages that many consumers may not want or may not need) to increase competition and allow markets to function
  7. Expand Medical Savings Accounts to include consumers and reward their participation in controlling costs while removing current tax inequities between large employers and small business / individuals who purchase their coverage

Finally, the President and his cronies will do well to promote the American healthcare and insurance industries which provide better care to more people than any other systems in the world!  Frankly, to care for more patients, we need more doctors to meet what is an expanding demand.  We need to celebrate our healthcare providers and other supporting industries; not demonize and demagogue them for political benefit.