Monday, October 14, 2013

Health Reform: KISS It Goodbye?
KISS- Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Popular Saying

ObamaCare is a hugely complicated approach to addressing problems in health care that have simpler solutions.
Gordon Crovitz “ObamaCare’s Serious Complications, “ Wall Street Journal, October 12. 2013

America’s health care problems are simple:  rising costs consuming 18% of GDP, 50 million uninsured, an aging population, and finding primary care doctors (“Why Is It So Hard To Find a Doctor, Boston Globe, October 13, 2013).
ObamaCare solutions are complex:  a government-run hub requiring integrating data across five massive federal agencies,   the IRS operating out of the White House coordinating 47 different law-based provisions, and a population of 320 million uncomprehending  people scratching their heads trying to understand a byzantine law,  and a law that fails to allow citizens to easily compare prices and results.
To liberals,  the solution is simple – a single-payer system using taxpayer money  run by Washington-based experts deploying  price controls, rationing, and paying  for evidence-based results.
To conservatives the solution is equally simple – a transparent market-based system across the land allowing patients to compare prices and results and to take responsibility for their own health by paying out-of-pocket  for routine services and to set aside unspent money for retirement and other purposes.
If only, information could be found  allowing comparison of prices and results and  the right doctor and right health plan had the elegant simplicity of an Apple product  and a Google search box, we would be on our way towards a health care nirvana.  

If only,  we could remedy the primary care doctor access problem by reducing medical education debts,   making generalists equal in prestige and pay to specialists,  and introducing  a coordinated team-  and evidence-based approach to care we would have a better system. 

But, alas,  liberals  fond of bigger government,  and conservatives,  advocates of  smaller government,  fundamentally differ on how to reach nirvana.  Each regards the other’s approach as wrong-headed and unfair.  
Which brings us to the nub, or perhaps I should say “hub” of the problem.  
In the words of H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), social critic and the Sage of Baltimore,
·         The public demands certainties but there are no certainties.

·         No one in the world, as far as I know, ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of people.

·         For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

That said, let the people decide.

Tweet:    No simple solution exists for U.S. health problems – 50 million uninsured, rising costs, and yearning for best results regardless of cost.

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