Sydney Hay on Health Care.

sydneyhay.jpg   Arizona’s Champion of Change, Sydney Hay, is running for Congress in Congressional District One on a platform of reforming what’s broken in Washington. Over the course of the campaign, Sydney will unveil details on her change agenda. First, we start with Health Care, in response to Hillary Clinton’s recent announcement of her health care plan of government mandates.

A Prescription for Health Care Reform
by Sydney Hay
“First, do no harm.” Congress should follow the Hippocratic Oath when proposing to fix what ails health care in America. Hillary Clinton’s newly-rolled-out proposal is, once again, a massive expansion of government into the heath care of Americans, disguised by the words “Health Care Choices.” Its massive new mandates on employers will be harmful to small business and dramatically stifle their creation of new jobs in America while doing little to improve the quality of health care or its delivery. To recast our system in the mold of the socialized systems in Canada, Great Britain, Cuba (Michael Moore’s favorite) etc. is not the answer. There is a reason why Canadians who can afford it come to the United States when confronted with a serious illness. There is a reason why our U.S. Cancer survival rates are far higher than those in Great Britain and other countries. There’s a reason why Cubans suffer from diseases like leprosy and typhoid fever that have been nearly eliminated elsewhere. Let’s fix what’s broken in our health care system, not damage it further by a government take-over. Do you want the folks that were in charge of the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in charge of your Mom’s cancer treatment? I don’t think so.

Americans want real solutions, not just tinkering around the edges.

There is one thing that rings true in the fantasy film by Michael Moore — the title. There are some “sicko” aspects to health care in America. Serious systemic change is warranted.

First, we, the American people are the best reformers of our health care system. Empowering people (not their employers, not corporate bean counters, not federal bureaucrats) to decide from a menu of wants and needs and then weigh the associated costs of each is the best system for Americans.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE WRONG

1. We have taken the consumer out of health care. This is one major reason why costs have risen so dramatically. When someone else is paying the bill, there is no incentive to negotiate price, to shop around, to even contemplate whether a high-priced procedure is truly necessary.

2. And while we have removed the consumer, we have inserted an army of lawyers, ready at the drop of a hat to file junk lawsuits. Not only has this resulted in a cost of malpractice insurance that beggars the imagination, it also results in the over-prescription of expensive tests.

3. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) has cost rural areas such as those in Congressional District One of Arizona dearly. Well-meaning though the passage of this law in 1986 was, it hurts the very people it was meant to help: low income people in a medical emergency. And it hurts the rest of us, too, as emergency facilities close due to the heavy burden. From 1994 to 2004, the number of emergency room visits increased by 18 percent. During that same time period, 425 emergency departments disappeared. Fully one-third of patients visiting emergency rooms have only minor problems.

SOLUTIONS:

1. Transform EMTALA by converting this program into one of direct assistance to the uninsured in the form of premium assistance or health care vouchers, thereby enabling them to buy private insurance coverage. This will give them access to primary care for minor problems, and free up ERs for true emergencies. It will also take away much of the burden of uncompensated care from our ERs, stopping the flight of emergency facilities away from rural and low-income areas.

2. Stop encouraging the surrender of control of our health care from the individual to the employer. By promoting large Health Savings Accounts we will stop the loss of coverage when someone is in-between jobs (a large percentage of the uninsured fall into this category), give control back to workers, and put downward pressure on health costs by bringing the consumer back into the equation. If HSAs became widespread in America we would also go a long way toward lessening the day of reckoning that is fast approaching on Medicare.

3. Allow interstate competition in health insurance. Over-regulation at the state level and required purchasing within state, are major factors in the high cost of insurance. When the exact same policy can be purchased for half the price in one state vs. another, there is a clear argument for changing this. Individuals should be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines.

4. Enact legislation that provides for the formation of large groups that small businesses and individuals could join to gain purchasing power.

5. Enact malpractice reform and look at establishing voluntary no-fault medical insurance.

6. Address the lack of providers in poor and rural areas through various tuition loan forgiveness programs. Privately-operated for-profit health clinics could be established that would gain federal tax incentives like the ability to issue stock that is exempt from capital gains taxes or the ability to use federal tax-exempt bonds to finance the clinics.

7. Change the unfair tax treatment of employer-provided health insurance vs. individuals purchasing their own. Right now, the tax incentives are in place to favor employer-provided insurance. By offering a health care deduction to every taxpayer you can level the playing field and increase the incentives for individuals to purchase their own health insurance directly, rather than relying on their employers to do it for them. That way, they can choose only the coverage they want or need. For example, why should a 60 year-old be forced to pay for maternity coverage?

CONCLUSION

These reforms will transform our health care system into one that provides value and freedom of choice; that expands private health care coverage, instead of expanding government; and that puts downward pressure on health care costs, thereby reducing them.


Comments

  1. Instead of a long post about Sydney Hay’s thoughts a on health care, a shorter post telling me who the heck is Sydney Hay would have been more useful. Is she the Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul of the CD 1 race?

  2. She is a strong conservative candidate with a great background working for reform.

  3. It would seem to me that the so-called LONG post was necessary to fully explain the well-thought answer to our healthcare costs and problems. AND, it would seem to me that effort, analysis and subsequent solution says VOLUMES about WHO she is. Lastly, it is obvious to me that here is a gal whose thinking process is not mucked up with a spate of foolish ‘feelings’.

    She is the Sydney Hay of the CD 1 race!

  4. We did a cut and paste because Sydney did not yet have the plan put on her web site.

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