The House Bill to establish the “Access to Health Care Policy Council” would create a council with the stated goal of “providing access to appropriate and affordable health care on a regular basis to all North Carolinians.” While the goal of ensuring North Carolina citizens enjoy broad access to health care is admirable, close examination of the current bill reveals opportunities for improvement (and reasons for fear).
To cure our healthcare system, we have to look at the system holistically. Just one or two reforms will have a small effect. We need comprehensive reform. First, we must identify the pathologies. Then, we must offer prescriptions. But most reform efforts get this the wrong way around. In other words, many would like to treat the symptoms, but ignore the underlying problems.
Healthcare reform is complicated. But everyone knows something needs to be done. We've taken the time to treat the issue in a two-part video, which includes a breakdown of the problems, as well as market-friendly solutions. (More)
Understanding Healthcare and How to Reform It
The next time you hear someone say the market is failing health care, ask him how much his last blood test cost. His failure to tell you won't be a memory lapse, but a symptom of our system. That is, the market never failed health care, the system did. The system? You know, that byzantine World War II-era arrangement among doctors, functionaries and insurers that leaves the patient (i.e., the consumer) out of the loop.
An expose on healthcare in Canada. "Two Women"
When it comes to healthcare reform, health savings accounts (HSAs) are not a silver bullet. But they certainly help where politicians hinder. The trouble is most people don’t yet know what they are. When they learn, we may see an HSA tsunami.
If someone was looking for a solid compromise on healthcare reform, they wouldn’t search in vain. But Democrats are going to have to abandon their Medicaid-for-the-middle-class crusade. Republicans are going to have to abandon tax protection for big business. That’s because critical healthcare reform is going to involve giving the American people exactly what they need: affordability, portability, quality and choice.
If someone was looking for a solid compromise on healthcare reform, they wouldn’t search in vain. But Democrats are going to have to abandon their Medicaid-for-the-middle-class crusade. Republicans are going to have to ditch Norquist-type pledges not to raise taxes. That’s because critical healthcare reform is going to involve giving the American people exactly what they need: affordability, portability, quality and choice.
Ever heard of the butterfly effect? The idea is that small changes in initial conditions can mean larger changes elsewhere in a system. A butterfly's wing beat in Raleigh, through complex cause and effect, can make waves in Austin or Alaska. The same can be said of our health care system — if we can find the wing beat.
Created by the U.S. Congress in 1997 as a supplement to traditional Medicaid (§ XXI of the Social Security Act), SCHIP was initially conceived of as a health insurance program for children in low income families. The program is jointly funded by the federal government and the states. Each state is operationally responsible for the program and may set its own eligibility rules at or above federal minimums. North Carolina created its SCHIP program – NC Health Choice – in 1998 (S.L. 1998-1es).
The Civitas Institute has been involved in conducting surveys in North Carolina for more than two years. Every month the voters are asked to pick the issue or program that needs the most attention from state government. During the past two years lower healthcare costs has always been in the top three and usually the top choice.
A slim-majority of 51 percent of North Carolina voters support the $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that passed Congress and was vetoed by President Bush. The October DecisionMaker Poll conducted by the Civitas Institute indicates, however, that voters do not support the expansion of the program that the legislation established. As approved by Congress, SCHIP would be expanded to cover families of four who earn up to 400 percent over the poverty rate or approximately $82,000 a year. The Civitas study found that 26 percent of North Carolina voters agree with the expansion to include families of four who make between $62,000 and $82,000 a year, while 62 percent oppose the expansion.