The Super-Committee: Health Care Experts Need Not Apply

Joe Paduda

First posted 8/11/11 on Managed Care Matters

Note by Brian: On the day this post was originally published, House Minority Leader Pelosi appointed the three Democrats to the Super-Committee: Chris Van Hollen, Xavier Becerra and James Clyburn.

With nine of the twelve spots on the Super-Committee taken, it looks like energy, tax policy, and political connections (now there’s a surprise!) are well-represented. What isn’t is expertise in health care, Medicare, or Medicaid.

With House Democrats scheduled to name their three panelists by Tuesday, it’s possible that someone with real knowledge of health care policy will be included, butregardless of who Nancy Pelosi names, there won’t be someone from the GOP side who’s got deep experience in the issue, someone(s) who could engage in a real discussion of the issues, represent the other side’s views, and act as the ‘in-house expert’ and counsel the other members of their party.

With Medicare and Medicaid likely to account for over a quarter of the Federal budget, the absence of deep health care policy expertise is rather stunning.

Continue reading “The Super-Committee: Health Care Experts Need Not Apply”

The Lightweight Romney Health Plan

Robert Laszewski

First published 5/12/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

Mitt Romney has outlined his new health plan. He outlined five key steps in an op-ed in USAToday. Here is a summary:

Step 1: Give states the responsibility, flexibility and resources to care for citizens who are poor, uninsured or chronically ill.who are poor, uninsured or chronically ill.

Step 2: Reform the tax code to promote the individual ownership of health insurance.

Step 3: Focus federal regulation of health care on making markets work…For example, individuals who are continuously covered for a specified period of time may not be denied access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions. And individuals should be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines, free from costly state benefit requirements. Finally, individuals and small businesses should be allowed to form purchasing pools to lower insurance costs and improve choice.

Step 4: Reform medical liability. We should cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice litigation.

Step 5: Make health care more like a consumer market and less like a government program. This can be done by strengthening health savings accounts that help consumers save for health expenses and choose cost-effective insurance.

Continue reading “The Lightweight Romney Health Plan”