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Who Should Own The Healthcare System?

Do you think the Insurance Industry should own the healthcare system? My answer is no! Do they? Yes!

The healthcare system should be owned by the patient. The patients should own his healthcare dollar. This is the only way that competition and innovation can be stimulated. The necessary paradigm shift is not going to be driven by the insurance industry, the hospitals, or government officials under political influences. The government can only do the right thing with the appropriate leadership. It seems to me the only potential presidential candidate that has the slightist clue to repair the healthcare system is Rudy Giuliani.

Last week Mr. Giuliani called for “transforming the way health care coverage is provided in the United States, advocating a voluntary move from the current employer-based system to one that would grant substantial tax benefits to people who buy their own insurance.

“He proposed tax exemptions of up to $15,000 per family, allowing individuals to direct that money toward the purchase of health insurance and other medical spending. He also said he opposed any government mandates that would require people or businesses to buy insurance, which is central to the universal health care plan neighboring Massachusetts, passed in April 2006 when Mitt Romney, a Republican rival, was governor there.
In order to help the poor or others struggling to afford health insurance, Mr. Giuliani said he would support vouchers and tax refunds along with savings incentives. ”

I believe Rudy Giuliani’s rhetoric is a relatively meaningless sound bite at present. However the sound bite is on the right track. I believe if his campaign gets off the ground he will be willing to learn from physicians and patients. He would be capable of leading us out of the morass we are in. He also believes the healthcare issue is a vital issue. I think he believes in sound business principles. He seems to understand the problems of the dysfunctional healthcare insurance industry.

Mr. Giuliani understands a good deal about how the free market economy works. He believes in the power of the consumer and people power. He also understands how dysfunctional systems can be repaired. Recall that he took a totally dysfunctional New York City riddled with crime and corruption, and transformed it into a functional and civilized city. He also angered a lot of the established vested interests along the way. However, most were grateful that he broke the log jam.

He transformed the national view of New York City and its people. He stimulated an unprecedented prosperity for New York City and New Yorkers at a time when companies and industries were moving out of the city. I recall being picked up by a limo driver in New York City on the way to a press conference several months after Mr Giuliani was elected. I always figure that New York City limo drivers know more about what is going on in the city than anyone else. I asked the driver what he thought of Mr. Giuliani. He said “Rudy is great. He took three police forces that did not work and made them into one police force. Believe it or not the police have been energized. The police force works. We all feel safer.” My silent response was “holy cow”. I did not think New York City had a chance. Maybe Mr. Giuliani was lucky.

Many feel the same way about the healthcare system. Repairing the healthcare system doesn’t have a chance. I think they are wrong. The healthcare system can function with the principle stakeholders, the physicians and the patients, in charge and the consumer driving the system.

I also believe Mr. Giuliani’s campaign has many problems. Many people will be against him for his views on other issues. His seemingly logic approach to the healthcare issue makes him the only possible shining star presidential candidate for the healthcare morass. He does not have the formula for repair quite right, yet he maybe a fast learner, if there is such a thing in a politician. He may also be able to stimulate a more attractive candidate to understand the desires of the people as it relates to healthcare. We need to put the people in charge not the insurance industry or the government.

  • Zagreus Ammon

    I cannot disagree with your feeling that insurance companies have hijacked the health care system. On the other hand, I have sort of come to terms with the devil… the whole idea behind insurance is the methodology to spread risk. The idea of managed care is a wonderful way to reduce cost, but given a profit incentive, there is little or no trust. Especially given the heavy-handedness of the foot soldiers.
    Frankly what grass-roots groups like “Out-of-Pocket” accomplish is add transparency to the system. I would argue that price transparency at the provider level and better regulation at the insurance level would allow us to keep a market-based universal health-care system that could actually start to work…

  • Greg

    I agree with both the post and the comments. I believe better policing the drug industry would free up alot of money as well as stop big pharma from price gouging its consumers. You know its time do do something when your citizens are filling their prescriptions from

  • MT

    Regardig “Giulani’s” health care proposal, I want to call your attention to the fact that “his” proposal is actually Bush’s proposal.
    You can read the Congresional Budget Office’s evaluation of it in Appendix C at this link:
    What Giuliani does not tell everyone is that this proposal would also add all employer-paid health benefits to the employees’ income. Currently, as you surely know, they are deducitble to the employer but not taxed to the employee. This will fail politically, I predict.

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