Thursday, September 10, 2009

An easy deal

Here is partial healthcare deal which both sides can live with. It gives each side what they want, with conditions the other side can live with.

1) Democrats want a public option. They can have 4 of them: Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran Affairs and the Federal Employee insurance plans will be made available to all.

In return the Republicans get 2 big concessions.

a) By law, the prices will be set so that the government makes money on each of those plans. Not only will there be no subsidies, but the government must make a higher profit margin than the health insurance industry as a whole. No one wants to pay those prices? Tough luck. It shows government healthcare is not that cost efficient after all.

b) Every State will have the right to decide which if any of those options will be offered within it. And since the federal government will be making money off these plans, it must share a percentage of the profits it makes in each state with that state in return for allowing the plans to be offered.

2) Republicans want to remove state healthcare regulations to allow interstate competition.

They get it by offering the Democrats 3 small concessions.

a) States may voluntarily ditch their own healthcare regulations in favor of an IHA (Interstate Healthcare Association).

b) Every state can vote on the regulations of the IHA it joins.

c) States that join an IHA will receive federal subsidies for their uninsured, who in turn may use it to purchase the insurance policy of their choice.

3) Republicans want to set up Malpractice Courts.

a) The Democrats agree that if any state wants to experiment with Malpractice Courts, the federal government will pay for the cost of setting it up, as well as monitor how effective they are at settling claims quickly and equitably. If they work as promised more states can be expected to follow, and the federal government will pay their transition costs as well. President Obama has already agreed to allow some initial experimentation. Paying for every state that wants it is the next logical step.

By making the public option a profitable government program, it will be much easier to get Republican support. By paying states to reform their regulations and not forcing them, it will be much easier to get Democratic reform. And by making all these changes a package deal it is even easier to find something in it for both sides. For more details, kindly read my previous post.

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