February 7, 2011
WE'RE ALL AGREED ON UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE COVERAGE...:
An ObamaCare Appeal From the States (Mitch Daniels, 2/01/11, WSJ)
I have written to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Services (HHS), saying that if her department wants Indiana to run its program for it, we will do so under the following conditions:
• We are given the flexibility to decide which insurers are permitted to offer their products.
• All the law's expensive benefit mandates are waived, so that our citizens aren't forced to buy benefits they don't need and have a range of choice that includes more affordable plans.
• The law's provisions discriminating against consumer-driven plans, such as health savings accounts, are waived.
• We are given the freedom to move Medicaid beneficiaries into the exchange, or to utilize new approaches to the traditional program, instead of herding hundreds of thousands more people into today's broken Medicaid system.
• Our state is reimbursed the true, full cost of the administrative burden to be imposed upon us, based on the estimate of an auditor independent of HHS.
• A trustworthy projection is commissioned, by a research organization independent of the department, of how many people are likely to wind up in the exchange, given the large incentives for employers to save money by off-loading their workers.
Obviously, this is a very different system than the one the legislation intends. Health care would be much more affordable, minus all the mandates, and plus the consumer consciousness that comes with health savings accounts and their kin. Customer choice would be dramatically enhanced by the state's ability to allow more insurers to participate and offer consumer-driven plans. Through greater flexibility in the management of Medicaid, the state might be able to reduce substantially the hidden tax increase that forced expansion of the program will impose.
Most fundamentally, the system we are proposing requires Washington to abandon most of the command-and-control aspects of the law as written. It steers away from nanny-state paternalism by assuming, recognizing and reinforcing the dignity of all our citizens and their right to make health care's highly personal decisions for themselves.
...it's just a quarrel over whether to deliver it via the Second Way, as Democrats want, or the Third, as conservatives want. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 7, 2011 7:10 AM