Voting Against Current Reform Bills Does Not Mean Inaction

By | October 18, 2009
Obama

Obama

President Obama has renewed his argument that we have to pass this legislation or his plan (whatever that is) because inaction is not an option.  While most people agree that inaction is not an option, why is voting for the progressive’s tax-and-spend fiasco the only alternative to doing nothing?

The conservatives in the House of Representatives proposed a health care reform bill that reduces health care costs, increases competition, makes health care portable, takes care of the pre-existing condition concerns, and does it while staying closer to the limits in the Constitution.

It would seem plausible that we could enact tort reform all by itself in a small bill that costs nothing and see how that works.  It would most-likely have been completed before the summer recess and Obama could have put his signature all over it.

Allowing the same tax advantages for individuals purchasing policies as purchasing through employers could have been done.  Again, low cost, no total re-write of the system.  No one is forced to buy anything they don’t need.  We can keep our pricey plans if we want to pay for them.  I could go on.  This could also have passed much earlier than the end of the year.

A bill could have been fashioned around inter-state competition of insurance companies.  It could even have possibly included the removal of anti-trust protections now that insurers would be in a broader market.  Wait for it… yup, low cost, no total discombobulation of the health care system…  one could feel like a broken record.

What’s being preached is common sense.  It doesn’t all have to be done at once to make progress.  In-fact, reasonable progress is most-often accomplished in increments, not by huge leaps of faith.  Let’s chop the bills apart.

Even though there are still Constitutional concerns with any bill where the Federal government is involved, how easy would it be for Americans to get behind these bills:

  • The Malpractice Reform Act of 2009
    • take the limits from H.R.3400
    • Zero cost other than the legislative process to enact the bill
    • Really should be done at the state level to abide by the 10th amendment and Article I, section 8
  • The Protection of Individual Insurance for Americans Act
    • change tax laws to make individual insurance comparable in benefit
    • Zero costs other than legislative
    • This could fall under the regulation of inter-state commerce provisions in Article I – if insurance should stay with the individual no matter where they live, they will move between states at some point
  • Inter-state Health Insurance Market Reform Act
    • Allow health insurance companies to compete across state lines
    • Insurance companies regulated by home-state’s laws (keeping in-line with limits of federal government in Constitution)
    • Obviously falls to the Federal government under inter-state commerce regulation

Why not just start with those three bills, see which ones save money, which ones fail miserably instead of theorizing?  While these get implemented, Congress can work on round two:

  • Medicare Fraud and Waste Clean-up Act
    • Would like to see this moved to the states to run as they see fit so it melded with the Constitution, but I’ll take cutting the fraud and waste out .. for now
  • Medical Pricing Transparency Act
    • All Doctors and Hospitals must document and present the actual cost of all but emergency procedures to a patient before they may consent
    • Should be a recommendation from the Federal government and the States should consider in their Congressional sessions

There’s more out there, but guess what, by not doing it all at once, we can do small things to incrementally improve the system.  So Mr. President, inaction is not an option, but the federally-mandated destruction of the American health care system is not the only alternative.

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