Saturday, November 21, 2009

Twitter health care reform


Health care should be about people getting the health care they need. Unfortunately, it is also about politics. Today’s debate in the Senate is very important. Individual preferences of a few may be re-shifting the political spectrum of our country.


When I say political spectrum I know that I lost most of you, but bear with me. Our American political spectrum is better looked at then read about. It is best described in the geometric figure of a diamond. The radicals establish a point on the far left side of the median line across the center of the diamond. The reactionaries establish a point symmetrical to the radicals on the opposite side of the line. The republicans fall to the left of the reactionary point and the democrats fall to the right of the radical point. The difference between republicans and democrats could be the emphasis of equality over liberty. However, many people overlook that there are at least two more points on the diamond that cause many people to differ. The other two points represent order and anarchy. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to find any two people exactly in the same place of these four quadrants. US party politics allows for more individual differences than most other parliamentary forms of government. So the debate today over health care is likely to come down to individual preferences of a few Senators that must be appeased to win their vote. The vote tonight, Saturday, November 22, 2009 is the second step of a process that will not conclude until the middle of January at the earliest. To the twitter community this period of time is very long and probably perceived as unnecessary. This post will discuss the process of United States politics reaching consensus. I will also discuss my opinion on health care and what can be done to fix a broken health care system.


This post will look at these Democratic and Independent Party Senators and their individual preferences. I have placed a twitter label next to their names to summarize their perspective. I have also placed a link on their names to look into the point on the spectrum where they fall. The aids of these Senators are reading your twitter posts, so please take 10 minutes to learn more about this debate.




Name .Wiki Descrip. Twitter label Abortion Stance


Blanche Lincoln of Ark. Centrist Democrat Favors partial birth abortion ban

Mary Landrieu of Lou. Conservative Dem. Supports Stupak-Pitts Amendment,

Ben Nelson of Neb. Conservative Dem Pro life


Independents


Joe Lieberman of Con. "Indep. Democrat" Pro choice

Bernie Sanders Democratic socialist Pro choice


Senator Harry Reid’s proposal of a "firewall" that would segregate private premiums from federal funding in the public insurance plan is an attempt to accommodate those democrats with a desire towards regulated order of the abortion debate. Harry Reid’s accommodation right now seems to focus on Medicare bookkeeping practices. The proposal does to its credit address paying for health care reform. However, it does this by adopting bookkeeping practices. Bookkeeping is not a solution. If this bookkeeping means that we are going to control the cost of health care by bureaucratic means then he should say so. Regulation pushes this solution toward the “State-ist” side of the political spectrum. In accepting this solution we should be aware that we are losing choice to gain more order in the health care delivery system. The details behind this strategy would include a powerfully divisive “R” word. Rationing is a very divisive word that could shift this debate to the “State-ist” side of the political spectrum.


Before you react to the word rationing you should be aware that most doctors would say that this is already happening in our current health care system. Most doctors would also say that the Hippocratic Oath that they take would demand that the doctor patient relationship maintain choices of treatment protocol. Most doctors are not pleased with our current health care system since the introduction of the DRG system. This system allowed for a private form of bureaucratic rationing creeping into our current health care delivery system. These private bureaucrats are HMO’s and insurance companies. The current public bureaucracy is Medicare and Medicaid. The current health debate would eventually create one big DRG system. If Harry Reid were to say that he is balancing the cost of health care on the rationing of senior health care, then this bill would be dead on arrival.


I believe that rationing senior health care is only one place to control the cost of a health care system that is out of our control. We should also tie cost control to pharmaceutical companies’ gains, lawyers’ actions that promote defensive medical practices, and open up restrictions on health care by expanding alternative medicine practices. For example, when people have the choice of using alternative medicine in a hospice scenario they become empowered to experiment with their own health care at their own expense. When people are forced to pay for technological breakthroughs out of pocket within a window of time limitations then they are empowered with choices that are tied to their initiative. Please read my previous BLOG post.

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