Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Healthcare Plan

My Healthcare Plan
Ann Coulter
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Liberals keep complaining that Republicans don't have a plan for reforming health care in America. I have a plan!

It's a one-page bill creating a free market in health insurance. Let's all pause here for a moment so liberals can Google the term "free market."

Nearly every problem with health care in this country -- apart from trial lawyers and out-of-date magazines in doctors' waiting rooms -- would be solved by my plan.

In the first sentence, Congress will amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act to allow interstate competition in health insurance.

We can't have a free market in health insurance until Congress eliminates the antitrust exemption protecting health insurance companies from competition. If Democrats really wanted to punish insurance companies, which they manifestly do not, they'd make insurers compete.

The very next sentence of my bill provides that the exclusive regulator of insurance companies will be the state where the company's home office is. Every insurance company in the country would incorporate in the state with the fewest government mandates, just as most corporations are based in Delaware today.

That's the only way to bypass idiotic state mandates, requiring all insurance plans offered in the state to cover, for example, the Zone Diet, sex-change operations, and whatever it is that poor Heidi Montag has done to herself this week.

President Obama says we need national health care because Natoma Canfield of Ohio had to drop her insurance when she couldn't afford the $6,700 premiums, and now she's got cancer.

Much as I admire Obama's use of terminally ill human beings as political props, let me point out here that perhaps Natoma could have afforded insurance had she not been required by Ohio's state insurance mandates to purchase a plan that covers infertility treatments and unlimited OB/GYN visits, among other things.

It sounds like Natoma could have used a plan that covered only the basics -- you know, things like cancer.

The third sentence of my bill would prohibit the federal government from regulating insurance companies, except for normal laws and regulations that apply to all companies.

Freed from onerous state and federal mandates turning insurance companies into public utilities, insurers would be allowed to offer a whole smorgasbord of insurance plans, finally giving consumers a choice.

Instead of Harry Reid deciding whether your insurance plan covers Viagra, this decision would be made by you, the consumer. (I apologize for using the terms "Harry Reid" and "Viagra" in the same sentence. I promise that won't happen again.)

Instead of insurance companies jumping to the tune of politicians bought by health-care lobbyists, they would jump to tune of hundreds of millions of Americans buying health insurance on the free market.

Hypochondriac liberals could still buy the aromatherapy plan and normal people would be able to buy plans that only cover things such as major illness, accidents and disease. (Again -- things like Natoma Canfield's cancer.)

This would, in effect, transform medical insurance into ... a form of insurance!

My bill will solve nearly every problem allegedly addressed by ObamaCare -- and mine entails zero cost to the taxpayer. Indeed, a free market in health insurance would produce major tax savings as layers of government bureaucrats, unnecessary to medical service in America, get fired.

For example, in a free market, the government wouldn't need to prohibit insurance companies from excluding "pre-existing conditions."

Of course, an insurance company has to be able to refuse NEW customers with "pre-existing conditions." Otherwise, everyone would just wait to get sick to buy insurance. It's the same reason you can't buy fire insurance on a house that's already on fire.

That isn't an "insurance company"; it's what's known as a "Christian charity."

What Democrats are insinuating when they denounce exclusions of "pre-existing conditions" is an insurance company using the "pre-existing condition" ruse to deny coverage to a current policy holder -- someone who's been paying into the plan, year after year.

Any insurance company operating in the free market that pulled that trick wouldn't stay in business long.

If hotels were as heavily regulated as health insurance is, right now I'd be explaining to you why the government doesn't need to mandate that hotels offer rooms with beds. If they didn't, they'd go out of business.

I'm sure people who lived in the old Soviet Union thought it was crazy to leave groceries to the free market. ("But what if they don't stock the food we want?")

The market is a more powerful enforcement mechanism than indolent government bureaucrats. If you don't believe me, ask Toyota about six months from now.

Right now, insurance companies are protected by government regulations from having to honor their contracts. Violating contracts isn't so easy when competitors are lurking, ready to steal your customers.

In addition to saving taxpayer money and providing better health insurance, my plan also saves trees by being 2,199 pages shorter than the Democrats' plan.

Feel free to steal it, Republicans!

To read another article by Ann Coulter, click here.
Dick Morris 3-17-10

If the House Democratic majority passes Obama's healthcare proposals, one of two things will happen by Election Day, 2010 - and neither one will be healthy for the Democrats seeking re-election.

Either the Medicare cuts will take effect or they will be postponed by a terrified Congress.

If they take effect, physicians' fees will be slashed 21 percent and hospital reimbursements for Medicare patients will be cut by $1.3 billion. Tens of thousands of doctors and thousands of healthcare institutions - hospitals, hospices, outpatient clinics and such - will refuse to treat Medicare patients.

Entire cities will be without one doctor in important specialties who will take care of the elderly on Medicare. Particularly in fields like G.I. care or arthritic and joint pain, doctors will simply refuse to accept the low reimbursement rates they are being offered and hospitals will refuse all but emergency care to Medicare patients. In effect, the elderly will experience a doctors' strike against Medicare patients.

Congress, faced with this massive revolt coming right on the verge of the election, may back down and postpone the cuts. Originally, doctor reimbursement rates were scheduled to drop on March 1 of this year, but Congress postponed it until the fall. Now the Democrats in Congress will face not only cuts in doctors' fees but in all forms of Medicare reimbursement - the so-called "market basket" of cuts programmed into Obamacare.

Congress, being Congress, will probably seek to postpone the cuts until after Election Day. But in doing so, they would expose the deficit reduction and cost containment features of Obama's bill for the fraud that they are. The news media headlines would blare that Congress just voted to add tens or hundreds of billions to the deficit and the big spending, high borrowing image of Congress will worsen. All pretense that Obamacare is not a reckless spending bill will be stripped away and we will be face to face with the reality that it will add hugely to the deficit.

All this will come at precisely the time that House and Senate Democrats are scrambling to rebut the attacks of their Republican challengers over these very issues. If Congress votes to postpone the Medicare cuts, as a former Secretary of HHS predicted to me, they will have to answer for their fiscal irresponsibility right before the election.

Either poison - the cuts or the deficit - will be enough to eradicate an entire generation of House and Senate Democrats.

And these cuts will take place against a backdrop of continuing increases in health insurance premiums, no expansion of coverage (it doesn't kick in until 2013), and no tangible benefit from the Obama bill.

This is the prospect the House and Senate Democrats who vote for Obamacare will face in the fall of 2010. This is the record they will have to defend.

Or, they could save their political lives and vote no!

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