What in the world is John Edwards saying? New healthcare markets would give families and businesses purchasing power and a choice of quality plans, including one public plan.
Is he proposing one public plan or a choice of quality plans?
Then he says, businesses would either cover their employees or help pay their premiums. I guess this means a new law requiring businesses to pay. Or, do businesses only have to help to pay?
Then, Finally, once these steps have been taken, all American residents would be required to take responsibility and get insurance, which means, I guess a law requiring all Americans to get medical insurancelike we require auto insurance. And, then what ... tickets and fines for living without insurance?
Edwards says: I would set national accounting standards requiring insurers to spend at least 85% of their premiums on patient care. The standards would also create a more efficient system. Today, 30 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare goes toward administration and system waste. Does John really think this is as simple as passing a law requiring insurance companies to reduce administrative costs from 30% to 15%? And, what if they dont (or are unable to) do so? We then enforce such a law, how?
Its time we made sure every healthcare provider practiced evidence-based medicine. As opposed to what we use now ... Ouija-board-based medicine?
I would create a new independent research institute to analyze new devices and treatments and disseminate its findings, and I would develop partnerships among academic medical centers, Medicare and other agencies to make high-quality medicine contagious. Independent of what? Certainly, this wont be independent of the federal bureaucracy.
At the same time, we must reduce the cost of practicing medicine with common-sense reforms that help doctors and patients. We all agree on this principle. But, what exactly are the common-sense reforms being proposed? Until we hear that, how can we determine whether the reforms make common-sense?
We need a truly universal solution, and we need it now. Yes, of course we all agree on that. But, simply stating the obvious isnt proposing a solution.
John, I like you a lot. Im not a really smart guy, but you have to put together something more clear, more concise, and more precise. From what I can see, this is like solving financial difficulties by requiring everyone to put money in the stock market and requiring they always buy low, sell highreally, it seems to me just a bunch of sentences strung together that dont mean anything.
John MillsTacoma, Wash.
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