Diary

What is the Republican Solution to Health Care?

I thought John McCain’s healthcare plan was a pretty good start. A $5000 tax credit so you can buy the coverage you need to get from whoever and wherever has the best plan to fit your needs. I thought this was a very good way to promote free market solutions to the cost of health coverage, but it wasn’t enough.
In the past few elections, it seems that from Bush 41, to Bob Dole, to Bush 43, and to John McCain, Republicans are about as uncomfortable talking about healthcare solutions as much as they’re uncomforitable courting and recruiting more minorities to join the party. It’s very sad that we don’t have a clear agenda. As much as we disagree with socialized healthcare, at least the Democrats have a plan to speak of.
The most popular phrases I hear is “make healthcare more affordable.” That’s great. What we tend to not get after the phrase is how to do it. If McCain had a clear and concise plan rather than his tax credit when he said “make healthcare more affordable,” he could have scored some points with lower-income voters.
So, how do we do it?Healthcare services are expensive, we all know that. I’ve worked in the healthcare field (with a Medicare contractor, on the private insurance side, and as a staffing supervisor for radiology technicians) for five years and I’ve seen a l lot of the costs firsthand. Have you ever had an MRI, for example? Ever wonder about how much those puppies cost? Try anywhere between $1 million and $2.5 million. Facilities that build MRI suites can expect to fork over a half million alone. Drugs are expensive, nursing care is expensive, etc, etc, etc.
While advances in technology have provided signifigant breakthroughs, it’s not cheap. Health insurance companies can’t pay 100% of the bill, 100% of the time, even though Obama and his liberal allies want the federal government to do that. Forcing them to pay more, or regulating what can be charged for services infringes on our capitalistic principles. No voter wants to hear this, so what solutions do we have?
One theory is how to deal with the drug companies. I understand they rely a lot on grants and subsdies from the government, but why hasn’t there been any more advances on curing cancer or AIDS? It seems there’s a new drug for impotence, depression, or irritable bowel syndrome every week. If we’re giving money to drug companies, then we need to see their progress in attacking diseases like cancer, alzheimer’s, or AIDS. I hate using the word “fair,” but it would seem that if we’re handing them billions of taxpayer dollars, then its only fair to see what progress they’ve made.
Do we offer tax incentives to hospitals for having the most up to date equipment, procedures, and success rates? What about incentives for hospitals to become teaching facilities? What about incentives for companies that have a fitness center or offer discounts to gyms for its employees?
Personally, I liked McCain’s tax credit idea. It sounded a lot better than making corporations pay into making healthcare affordable for people who won’t get a job, or a government run system that’s disastrous in Canada and throughout Europe. I’m not saying that these proposals are right, or even close, but we need to come up with something else besides “make healthcare more affordable” and then wanting to move on to the next subject.
What are your thoughts? I’m not just looking at a standpoint of winning elections, I want conservative ideas and principles to help our healthcare system.