Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Some "What's Next" ideas for GOP healthcare reform

Democrats are scrambling to avoid a well deserved pasting in the 2014 fall elections and have come up with a strategy to ask "what's next" and put the GOP on the defensive. But that's only going to work if the GOP doesn't have a ready answer to the question. Here are a few candidates:

  1. Big bang reform didn't work so now it's time to do small, incremental reforms where if it works, we've made things better and if it doesn't, we can quickly pull back before we wreck the whole system. 
  2. The AMA invented the CPT in 1966 and charges royalties. The US Congress adopted CPT as a standard but didn't buy it to make it a copyright free government document. You still have to pay a license fee, for digital copies that's a per user fee and the fee is high. We need to liberate the CPT so that we harness the spirit of price comparison and getting the best deal that exists in most of our commercial lives. Finding out that your $3k MRI can be gotten for $500 down the street can be the difference between limping along in pain and getting the treatment you need. By using Congress' power to set weights and measures we can make that happen and it doesn't have to be that expensive. 
  3. We are two years away from a legally mandated 20+% cut in disability insurance payments. In part this is because of the unprecedented wave of convenient disability cases flooding the system. The fiscal crisis was tough. I think we should have compassion for people who panicked and made a wrong move. We need to pass legislation giving people amnesty and a pathway back into the workforce so that the truly disabled do not have to pay the price for a bad economy.