Republican politicians and conservative talk show hosts have devoted plenty of time slinging arrows at Democratic health insurance reform proposals. Occasionally, I hear a talk show host or a Republican politician on a Sunday morning talk show mention the Republican health care plan but few or no details. Instead they continue to heap scorn on “Obamacare”.
When someone prefers to attack rather than explain their alternative, I get suspicious. Maybe the Republican plan sucks, I thought, and that’s why conservatives don’t offer summaries of the plan. If you, like me, would like to know what the Republican health care plan is, you can check out a Roll Call summary here on the Real Clear Politics website. It has some good features, notably the reduced government “footprint.”
As a small employer with several experiences with state insurance agencies, I am leery of government insurance solutions. In Colorado, Labor Dept employees seem to assume that the employer is at fault or lying, although a spokesman for the Labor Department would probably deny it.
An employee is taken at his or her word and it is up to the employer to prove that the employee is mistaken. Conversations with several other small employers in this state have confirmed this attitude on the part of state agency employees.
While there have been court decisions to clarify “reasonable grounds” or “reasonable suspicion” in criminal cases, there seems to be little precedent to stipulate what “reasonable grounds” are in civil and regulatory matters. If a state auditor feels they have reasonable grounds to believe that an employer is guilty of breaking one of the hundreds of state laws affecting employers, then, unlike criminal cases, the employer must prove their innocence.
I am afraid that this same attitude will prevail when the Federal government injects itself even deeper into health care and insurance in the U.S. Doctors and health care providers will be in the same position as employers, needing to prove their innocence. As patients, we might think that such a presumption of fault on health care providers is a good thing. Such a presumption will only cause more doctors and health care providers to leave the medical field. After all, who needs the aggravation?
Even without health care/insurance reform, there will not be enough doctors and health care providers for the juggernaut of the aging baby boomers. With or without reform, there will be delays in getting medical appointments with primary care physicians and specialists. We need reform and this is the time to do it. I can only hope that our politicans will use some care and sober judgment as they craft a reform bill.