Posts Tagged universal health care
Posted by in Health Care on August 19, 2009
Finally the idea of not for profit health care cooperatives or co-ops are being discussed in Washington. Once popular during the depression, Co-ops are people pooling their own money to either leverage lower premiums for private insurance or self insuring. This is a pro-consumer and pro-free market approach to health care that if implemented correctly could bring quality health care at the lowest cost.
Groups of people, business’, churches, and organizations could form their own co-ops and the members would vote on boards of directors that will be accountable to its members. After administration and overhead costs all proceeds would go to for paying member’s health care.
This should promote a frenzy of competition among the entire health insurance industry because private insurance companies would fight for the dollars of the co-ops and in many cases compete directly with their not-for-profit counterparts. It will promote competition by forcing doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies to deal with insurance companies that will demand lower costs from them as they compete for members. The motive to deny or reduce coverage to increase profits will be removed and competition will drive the co-ops and private insurance companies to offer maximum benefits at the lowest cost.
The Obama administration is floating the health care co-op idea but they are talking about massive federal spending to get co-ops off the ground. If co-ops are to work they must be free of undue government interference. Congress can and should enact a framework and provide oversight but they must not be allowed to appoint boards or control them.
The health care cooperative idea will face stiff opposition from the left who prefer a public option and from the right who prefer a pure free market approach. These may be the biggest hurtles to overcome, but I believe it is an idea worth pursuing.
Continuing to be the Party of No, Utah Republicans think it’s a bad idea that everyone should have health insurance, and they want to opt out of any plan passed by congress. State Representative Carl Wimmer feels so strongly about this, he is pushing for an amendment to the state constitution.
According to KSL, Wimmer says:
We’re going to pass a state Constitutional amendment stating that people will not be forced by the national government to purchase health care insurance and that small businesses will not be forced to provide them.
Wimmer says state Republicans have made some good progress on their own plan and that help from the Feds is anti-states’ rights. I don’t even want to get into the Patrick Henry club of which he is a part. But I am definitely interested in hearing the details of this Republican plan and how it is so great we won’t miss the Federal dollars we are likely to lose.
I’m willing to bet there are no details to be had.
Of course, getting an amendment through will not be easy as noted in the story, “. . . an amendment would have to come in the form of a joint resolution, approved by two-thirds majority in both houses, then approved by voters in a general election as well.” So this may just be grandstanding after all.
Utahns should be worried. Sometimes politicians can get so wrapped up in party politics and being anti anything the opposite party proposes, that they are even willing to harm their own constituents.