Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ron Paul sounds better and better

It's really not that hard to make a case for the failure of central planning and central services, and I think we really need such a voice in the White House - WITH a veto - to keep a solidly progressive congress in check after 2008.

But Constitutional or not, Paul has to come up with some better way of dealing with the issue of universal health care than saying "It's unconstitutional and it won't work."

He may be correct in both cases, indeed, I suspect he is. Nonetheless, if he is not going to support universal health care, he needs to present a solution to the problem that IS constitutional and WILL work.

Now, as it happens, I'm in favor of universal access to health care, with some way of ensuring a Canadian "work-alike" system. There will be a need for some federal regulations and standards. But I don't see any particular reason why that system should be a one-size-fits-all FEDERAL system paid with federal dollars. I'm not exactly against that either, but I don't see why all other options should be taken off the table.

What we really need to do is look at the system we have, see why the costs are so bizarre. (Hint - hospitals owned by insurance companies and bizarre costs assessed to consumers that would be unsustainable if self or under-insured) We should look at other systemic problems - for docturs, the costs of insurance compliance and the costs of malpractice insurance are two biggies.

So those are two things that need to be thought about, and then we also need to think about making basic preventive health care widely available to everyone by some common means. Now, that common means does not have to imply that the same pocket is paying in every case - all it requires is that there is a federal regulation mandating a standard database format for insurance billing. Medicare needs to use the same one, so does Medicaid, and all state agencies that deal with such things. One form. One standard format wallet card. One standard consent / billing card to access billing and medical records. Computers can do all kinds of record keeping and routing, there's no reason on god's green earth why people should have to do such things at all.

Reducing overhead will go a hell of a long way to fully funding universal health care, or something that is just like it from the perspective of the panicked mom with the howling baby. It is something that really must be done - the people are demanding it - and I for one would prefer such a system to be in harmony with both our Constitution AND good old-fashioned fiscal prudence.

Ron Paul, Tucker Carlson, Conservatism, Constitution

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