Dear House Representative Sam Farr,
I listened to the Town Meetings which you held. You were adamantly for a government option, Single Payer plan. You did not listen to the folks who want to keep their own health plan and do not want more government control. You kept saying “oh, you can keep your plan …”
But that is pie in the sky if the private sector is driven out of business by the federal government. You know what happened with Flood Insurance; no private company will ensure for floods in Santa Cruz as the federal government drove out all competition.
Consider the very low government rates paid to psychologists: As a licensed California psychologist I know that the rates paid by the government for Medical/ Medicare patients are ridiculously low — about 1/3 of what most psychologists charge. And there is all that paperwork or computer forms to be filled out. In Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, less than 5 psychologists out of more than 100+ are willing to take Medical. Frankly, I prefer to provide pro bono services — free services — than deal with the government.
I agree with you Mr. Farr that we do need health care reform. But I disagree with you as to how to do it. The ideas listed below are ones that lots of people have suggested.
It does not make sense to turn control of 1/6 th of the economy —- the health care sector –over to the federal government. This is not healthy change that We the People want.
There are lots of small changes in health care that can be done one by one instead of by BIG government fiat. The overriding goal should be to put power back in the hands of individuals and families to make decisions for themselves. Here’s how:
- Health care savings accounts. Big changes can b e achieved in small steps. First and foremost, put control of health care dollars in the hands of employees — rather than under the control of employers . With health care savings accounts individuals and families can decide what they need. And buy only what they want.
- Portability. Let health care plans follow employees from job to job.
- Encourage competition to reduce price. Just like buying oranges from Florida in Nebraska, let people shop for health insurance across state lines.
- Prior existing conditions. Let each state create their own pool and finance it through a combination of state and federal money.
- Reform Medicare so that providers (doctors, psychologists, speech pathologists) are willing to work for the rates offered and allow them to “package” services to encourage preventative care.Once Medicare is reformed then incrementally expand coverage to various groups that are not covered. Train more doctors and nurses ahead of time before expanding the system. Eliminate fraud.
- Reduce unnecessary procedures. Cap the amount of money that anyone can get in a malpractice suit. Yes, tort reform! Funny how neither the House or Seanate bills contained such a simple yet powerful solution. A number of states have already implemented it — including California.
These changes can be done one at at a time. Get agreement by both parties. Discuss issues in a transparent manner — not behind closed doors.
What you, Nancy Pelosi and others are doing is trying to do is grab control for the sake of control Health care “reform” is a means to an end — government control.
Some Democrats recently bowed out months before the 2010 elections. Maybe, after 20+ years on the job it is time for you to rest? Cameron Jackson DrCameronJackson@gmail.com