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Thursday, September 23, 2010

GOP Pledge - A Thousand Points of Fight

I have held off commenting on the GOP Pledge to America until I had a chance actually to read it, rather than press reports and punditry analysis.

Now that I have read it, I'm in agreement with the approach, which amounts to A Thousand Points of Fight.

The Pledge recognizes that the problem of an out-of-control federal government was not created overnight, and there are no handful of one-size fits all solutions. 

There are thousands of problems, and it will take time.

The Pledge properly focuses on themes of smaller government based on constitutional principles, national security, and individual autonomy. 

I particularly like this aspect of the repeal and replace policy on Obamacare, which will empower health care consumers to control their own health care expenditures with an incentive to be careful:

Expand Health Savings Accounts: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are popular savings accounts that provide cost-effective health insurance to those who might otherwise go uninsured. We will improve HSAs by making it easier for patients withhigh-deductible health plans to use them to obtain access to quality care. We will repeal the new health care law, which prevents the use of these savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine.
I have long argued that health care costs never will come under control until we do away with a system in which patients have no stake in the cost of health care beyond some nominal co-pay.   A shift to a system in which patients have incentives to take responsibility for the cost of health care is the only alternative to our steady descent into a nationalized system of rationing as takes place in Britain and Canada.

The Health Savings Account pledge is a good example, but it is only one of thousands of battles which must be fought and won.

The Pledge lays out a vision of an America in which a substantial majority of Americans can believe.  Now we have to win some elections with people who are committed to these principles, so we can get it done.

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  1. I totally agree with you. Because when I have a heart attack, I really want to have to worry about is going out and finding competing prices for stent implants. And if I have cancer, I definitely want to get on the phone and price chemotherapy. Maybe if we all do that, we can get our health costs as low as they are in socialist hellholes like Israel, Switzerland and Japan.

  2. @Timothy - You are brilliant. A health savings account does not require you to price shop emergency services, in fact it does not require you to price shop at all. But for routine non-emergency services, it does afford people a chance to save money for themselves and their families, while introducing price competition into the system. Providing those who choose to take control of their own health costs -- and I believe tens of millions would if the rules were made easier -- does not deprive anyone else of coverage. Just wait until your government takes over, you will not have to worry about price shopping stents and chemo, you'll just have to wait in line.

  3. The problem with the Republican platform is the fact that the RNC is not backing the conservatives that would inact the promises. Maybe if they can get on the same page, they will be more acceptable. Also, somehow the Republicans need to get the religion out of the party. That is a big turn off to independents. Someone needs to point out that pushing morals in government is the same a socialism.

    As to health care cost, I am a doc and have been in the system for 40 years. I have also been a patient. Recently I had a rupture GB and was in the hospital for one week with big time surgery, not the little stuff. Bill was $70,000. That is obscene. The doctor bill was only $1500. Yet I know from my own billing that the govenment would target the doctor bill and not the hospital. Why is this so high? Ten years ago bypass surgery ran about $20,000. From what I see and from the discussions I have with administrators, the cost is sceondary to the government not picking up its end. They significantly underpay on Medicare and Medicaid and as a consequence the hospital shifts the cost to us. Now they want to control the whole thing. In a country of our size, we can't afford such a cost. Timothy, the countries you site are small and not completely socialized. I know in Japan that when the doctors sees you the first time he wants to know how you are going to pay for the service and if you don't pay up front you are on the street. We don't do that here. The only way the government can control cost is like in England and Canada were the services are rationed. Currently we have the best system in the world. The problem is that the government has be screwing with it for 30 years. If you want less medical cost, get the government completely out. No quality checks, no payments of any kind, no medical agencies or czars. The price will drop significantly and people will get the care they need.

    One final concept, you don't need as much medical care as whay you are led to believe. Allow people to buy any drugs they want without a prescription, let them do their own well checks (you can get the material on Amazon), make one simple change in torts-allow doctors to counter sue for abstract damages in failed malpractice cases (that will end malpractice suits).

  4. One other thing on socialized medicine. Ever wonder why doctors don't want it? They would get paid better than now. The reason is that they trained in socialized environments and wouldn't wish that on an animal. If anyone wants to see first hand what it is like, contact me and I will take you on a tour of LSU in Louisiana. That was the first socialized system in our country. I can assure you that you will be horrified.

  5. As I've posted at many blogs this morning,

    Anvil = crap sandwich.

    Hammer = pledge.

    Hammer away!

    This will be a very difficult document to weasel out of later. The tenth amendment language alone is enough to strangle any weaseling out of repealing Obamacare.

  6. And nary a word about ending benchmarks!

  7. You got it right. As did the always reliable Mark Levin this evening. It's the first step on a long, hard journey. I think Levin endorsed it as the "beginning of the beginning" on his show today. That's about it.

    "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

  8. We have two videos posted on Common Cents dealing with the pledge. One is the "press conference" in Sterling, VA. The other is a You Tube video of the preamble...