Checking up on Health Care

 Health Policy Briefs: March 27, 2012

Compiled by Benita M. Dodd

The U.S. Supreme Court heads into its third day of oral arguments on the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Wednesday.   

To get a perspective that digs deeper than the mainstream media, visit these links provided by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. 

  •  Click here for coverage of Day 1 at the U.S. Supreme Court from the Heritage Foundation. 
  •  Today, on Day 2 of deliberations, reports Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, “The funniest answer in the two hours (although there was no laughter in the courtroom) was when [Solicitor General Donald Verrelli, who was defending the law] claimed that Congress had passed the ObamaCare law to deal with a serious problem ‘after long study and careful deliberation.’ Anyone who knows the history of the frenzied and swift nature of the passage of ObamaCare, when almost none of the members of Congress knew what was in the 2,700 page bill, realizes what an absurd statement that was.” Click here for coverage of Day 2 by the Heritage Foundation.

The beginning of the end of private insurance in America?  Obamacare effectively forces insurers to pay out more generous benefits but limits their ability to raise the revenue needed to do so,” Sally Pipes president of the Pacific Research Institute, points out in an article in Forbes magazine this month. “Consequently, many firms will go out of business.” Pipes notes that Aetna has pulled out of the individual insurance market in Colorado and Indiana and out of the small group market in Michigan. The Iowa-based Principal Financial Group stopped selling health insurance entirely, leaving 840,000 people without coverage. And Unicare has stopped selling policies in Virginia. These developments are just the beginning.”

Back to consumer-driven health care: Blaming President Obama for “socializing” health care and exacerbating the nation’s health care problems, opponents of the federal health care law have been campaigning fiercely against its implementation. But heaping blame won’t produce constructive solutions for a workable health care approach to replace this nation’s broken health care.

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has long proposed a consumer-driven approach to health care. Read this: “Health Care Reform: Treat Disease, Not Symptoms,” a commentary by Dr. Brian Hill for the Foundation, andIt’s Time to Listen to Health Care Consumers,” by Foundation Senior Fellow Ronald E. Bachman.

Now comes “How to Replace Obamacare, an article in National Affairs magazine by James Capretta and Robert Moffit. They note: “To be credible, the replacement for ObamaCare must address in a plausible way the genuine problems with our system of financing health care. Preeminent among these are the explosion in costs, the rising numbers of uninsured, and the challenge of covering Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

“There is room for debate about the particulars of these reforms, and different components of our health-care system will call for different kinds of fixes. What any effective solution must involve, however, is the creation of a true market in health coverage — one that drives efficiency through competition, and places health-care decisions in the hands of consumers and taxpayers, where they belong.” Read more about what they propose here:

Quote of note:  “There are no solutions at the end of a pointed finger.” – Ray A. Davis

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