Remember me, I'm the doctor with forty years experience in military, academic, and private medicine who offered the five-bullet point common sense solution to health care's ailments, with no new taxes and no addition to the national debt, located here.
Well, tonight I listened to the well-thought out and well-studied bipartisan plan of Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (the half Democrat/half Republican "gang of six"). Amazingly these plans parallel the three insurance bullets I laid out in the five-point plan one month ago in the L.A. Times Steve Lopez interview. Senator Baucus also soundly rejected the government or public option plan as unacceptable to American voters, as this would have raised our national debt 1.5 to 2 trillion dollars, as stated by no less than financial wizard than Warren Buffett himself in a New York Times op-ed piece three weeks ago. As an alternative, Senator Baucus proposed an ingenious basket of state run co-ops that could be sold across state lines. Notice no federal co-ops!
I also listened to President Obama lay out the utopian wish-list plan favored by the extremely partisan left wing of his party.
Guess who gets the nod from my perspective, for bipartisan reality and feasibility, to save and improve our unique, innovative American health care system, and not saddle our country with unsustainable structural debt?
I vote for Senator Max Baucus.
We still need bullet #4, meaningful complete national tort reform, as already established successfully in California for 34 years, and lastly bullet #5, the federal mandate to our 159 urban medical schools to take care of the hard core indigent and illegal alien populations within their shadows, as best exemplified by the extremely successful USC/Los Angeles County Medical Center model. An added plus to this plan is that our medical schools can get back to their teaching mission while providing great training for our future doctors.
So with Max Baucus' three insurance bullets, and with the two additional common sense solutions above, we've arrived at real improvement and reform in our health care system, with no new taxes or debt.
Follow 5 Simple Steps:
1. Change the current 50 state patchwork of private insurance programs to a national clearinghouse of private insurance choices to increase competition.
2. Return health care insurance companies to the pre-1984 federal regulations that limited their fees to administration only.
3. Move away from employment-based care but require coverage of all working citizens.
4. Enact meaningful tort reform.
5. Get the 159 urban medical schools back to serving their local indigent populations.