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Bipartisan Meeting on Health Reform

February 25th, 2010 – Today House and Senate Democrats and Republicans met today to discuss the future of health care legislation.  The lawmakers were all on the best behavior and while there was a fair amount of political posturing, there was also some sincerity in looking for some common ground.

The real question is if President Obama and the Democrats are just giving lip service to the Republicans while they regroup to ramrod through the Senate’s Health Bill using reconciliation or if they are willing to listen to the American public and redraft a better health care bill.

My wish list for a health care bill would do away with the special deals cut for select states.  I would also like to see a repeal of the deal cut with Pharma which was a huge giveaway that was self serving to pharma.    We need improved tort reform and to change the way that doctors are compensated, to where they have a vested interest in keeping patients healthy.   We need improved price transparency so consumers can see what medical services cost and what options are.   We need strong continued support for consumer driven health plans like Health Savings Accounts.

While I am very much a free market capitalist, lately I’ve been wondering if the system would work better if the major pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and insurance companies were not for profit companies rather than public companies.  Public companies CEO’s charter is to serve their shareholders’ interests first and foremost.   Really, these companies charter should be to serve patients and customers.   As a not for profit, these companies could still compete, still have all their employees and still provide consumers with freedom of choice.

Finally, I would like to see a greater emphasis on cost reductions, as that is what is driving up health care premiums and also include a fair way to offer affordable health insurance to all Americans.   I think a bill with these attributes is something the American could get behind.

What would you like to see changed?

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