Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mark Kirk Health Care Townhall Looks At Reform Alternatives

A popular line of argument among Democrats lately is that if you're not for ObamaCare, you must be against reform.


Just because we're not interested in the public option, single-payer concept, fines for non-participation, or other ill-conceived aspects of the Democrats' preferred health care overhaul doesn't mean that Republicans don't think it needs to be fixed; however, we could start with a few common sense ideas such as tort reform (shhh... don't tell the trial lawyers), streamlining medical databases and the flow of information, ending defensive medicine practices, and so on.

Enter Congressman Mark Kirk, who is trumpeting a reform plan that engages alternative approaches to health care reform that won't break the bank.

Yesterday, Kirk hosted yet another town hall (this time in Northbrook) to discuss his alternative reform plan. Reports the Daily Herald:

Kirk's plan, proposed by a group of Republicans who position themselves as moderates, focuses heavily on enhancing tax-free health savings accounts and providing tax subsidies for purchasing coverage.

Kirk also wants to allow people to buy insurance from plans anywhere in the country and impose limits on awards in malpractice cases, among other reforms.

Much of the proposal is unlikely to gain much traction in the Democrat-dominated Capitol.

But it is an alternative Kirk hopes voters will support as he has made his opposition to Democratic health care reform a centerpiece of his Senate primary bid, holding town halls across the state as well as several teleconferences.

Kirk was keen to make sure those in attendance Tuesday knew he was not against "reform," just Obama's version of it.

"I believe we should not have the quick answer on health care. We should have the right answer," he said. "We think we really ought to have reform."

Just because we don't want ObamaCare doesn't mean reform isn't a good idea. Don't make me repeat this for the slow learners.


Anonymous said...

Your continued insistance upon including tort reform with health care reform proposals is nonsense. The aggregate cost of all malpractice related expenses upon the health industry is barely 1% of total health care costs. Yet this sham is repeated over and over like some knee-jerk mantra. Enough already. Reducing the discussion about health care to the same old "trial lawyers-bad, doctors-good" cheapens the GOP's position. Just streamlining the variety of paperwork various insurance carriers require would save more money according to both the WSJ and National Institutes of Health. Look at Nevada, which possesses the most draconian malpractice lawsuit restrictions in the country; far more severe than in 'lawsuit-happy' Illinois. And yet the cost of an emergency visit there is the highest in the nation, the waiting time is the highest in the nation, and the malpractice premiums charged physicians in Nevada is actually slightly higher than in Illinois. The absense of competion in the medical insurance industry (Nevada has only TWO private health insurers writing policies now, United and Sierra), and the rate of return earned by liability insurance companies' investment portfolios have an exponentially greater effect on the cost of health care than malpractice. Kirk and TA should make a pact: if you're just going to blow smoke up the people's 4th point of contact, just don't say anything at all. The air would be cleaner.

Crazy4glf said...

"...People who position themselves as moderates...."
One can position themselves all they want; one's votes, consistency of action, and prudence of comments here and abroad say something different.

Also, is TA really saying the Repubs want an alternative to reform? The only alternative to healthcare reform or changes to the healthcare system is the status quo. Period.

No one is saying one must pursue a narrow, specific course of action. However, most Americans are saying that doing nothing or looking like one is doing something (i.e. posturing and positioning) is not acceptable.

I've previously mentioned that in states where tort reform exists in a 'full metal' manner, consumers do not seem to be enjoying significant cost reductions.

Also, the government reported this week that the Federal government employee healthcare plan (that no Republican Member of Congress has passed up or refused to accept) will see a premium increase of 8.8% this year alone. Generally speaking, no otther similar product or service will increase in cost by this much. Hence something must be done.

Even if tort reform comes to be, there could be encroachments upon states' rights (akin to the encroachment on states by regional or national, private health plans being proposed by some), it doesn't come close to providing affordable, quality care to more Americans. Further, I'm not even certain tort reform should be discussed by the finance committee in the first place.

Let the insults, comments on length, and ignoring of content begin.

Anonymous said...

Dold read the blog and took my advice-note to dick green, 2 million bucks in january won't do it alone- and blasted coulson back to springfield or the chicago ward office she comes from today on ACORN.

crazy, g-o a-w-a-y.

The very big Fan of King Louis Astaves the Ellen Slayer

Anonymous said...

"Also, is TA really saying the Repubs want an alternative to reform?"

Crazy, the problem with Democrats using the word "reform" is that they constantly misuse it or abuse it.

Rod Blagojevich campaigned as a reformer. He reformed nothing and disgraced all of us.

Dan Walker campaigned as a reformer. He reformed nothing and disgraced himself.

The current Mayor Daley campaigned for office many moons ago as a reformer. This is the same Daley who denies that a Democratic political machine exists in Chicago. Nuff said!

The Democrats passed "Landmark Ethics Reform" in Springfield, bragged about it for a month, then begged accidental Governor Quinn to veto it when the public saw through their ruses.

Lifetime perpetual "reformer" Quinn testified in favor of the Landmark Ethics Reform bill, crowed about it after it passed, then vetoed it when the public saw through it for what it was. This is the same Quinn who spent time as a ghost payroller at the Old Industrial Commission when appointed by Dan Walker to his post many moons ago.

The Democrats in Springfield passed a pathetic budget which severely underfunds services to the needy and helpless amongst us, to their disgrace. You calling that "reform"?

So the Democrats are for "reform" and Republicans are not simply because the Democrats claim they are for reform doesn't wash. The Republicans are offering alternative plans to improve health care delivery and access to health care insurance. Those alternatives are being (of course) ignored by the Democratic Majority in Washington, who of course, blame the Republicans for their inability to govern in an intelligent fashion.

November 2010 can't come soon enough! Senator Mark Kirk will help change the listless Senate dominated by Democrats. The Democrats will again lose the opportunity to win the 10th Congressional District and will lose a number of other seats nationwide.

And Crazy will by then increase the volume of his ranting. At least you've named yourself appropriately! :-)

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Um, Louis? Missing from your list is George Ryan. Last I checked, all the corruption you listed didn't lead to the deaths of children, so try a different tact. Your need to skirt a line to avoid mentioning the rampant corruption within the national and state GOP is showing. The GOP's culture of greed reduced Randy Cunningham, a fine American, a true hero, to a mere felon in coveralls. Frankly, Louis, we're growing tired of the stone-throwing glazier routine.

Anonymous said...

And as to your predictions Louis, try again. Like dominoes, the 51st, 61st, 62nd, 4th, 7th,
sheriff, R S O S, and the 10th are all going to fall. Next November, Lake County will be a lovely shade of blue.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon. Poor example there. At no time did George Ryan campaign as a "reformer." Nor did he hold himself out to be one.

Who amongst the Democratic candidates for Springfield and local office are going to promise to "clean things up." How? By throwing out fellow Democrats? :-)

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

So because Ryan didn't campaign as a reformer it somehow releives the Illinois GOP of the stain of his corruption? Not following ya there, Sparky. Ryan ran on a platform of leadership and not reform for obvious reasons. But when he actually exercised some leadership and suspended the death penalty and travelled to Cuba, the Illinois GOP turned on him like a pack of dogs.