It is my contention that were we dealing with a genuine opponent in Republicans, instead of a gang controlled by the know-nothing musings of the Beck/Palin/Limbaugh Idiot Trinity, this piece by the Brookings Institution may carry some weight.
The proposal starts from the conclusion that the standard short-term measures to address rising costs, like reducing prices, are not sufficient to succeed. Instead, legislation must support necessary changes and improvements in health care by reforming payment systems, regulations, and institutions that currently prevent patients from consistently getting the best quality care at the lowest cost.
This strategy consists of four interrelated pillars. First, as a foundation for improving value, all stakeholders in the system need better information and tools to be more effective. Second, provider payments should be redirected toward rewarding improvements in quality and reductions in cost growth, providing support for health care delivery reforms that save money while emphasizing disease prevention and better coordination of care. Third, health insurance markets should be reformed and government subsidies restructured to create competition and improve incentives around value improvement rather than risk selection. This step requires near-universal participation in insurance markets to succeed. Finally, individual patients should be given greater support for improving their health and lowering overall health care costs, including incentives for achieving measurable health goals.
Also appreciated would be more Democrat politicians who win on grassroots power instead of big money donations they curiously vote in line with.
While we are potentially looking at a likeable bill, endorsed by the AMA and AARP and a number of other big players, it’s important to remember that there are still numerous concessions being made in the name of political expediency and big donor waahbabiness. Or waahbabitude, although I feel that imaginary word to be a little too positive for the desired effect.
While I remain personally optimistic that a series of bills in the future may be able to ferret out some of the absurdities and inch us closer to the idyll most of us realize needs to be manifest, that shouldn’t lie in the way of this current bill, which is by any analysis a huge step away from the barbarisms of past decades.