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Thursday, March 4, 2010

How the GOP Can Fix Health Care

The GOP must be truly bereft of ideas on health care if the commentary on your op-ed page is the best they can do (How the GOP Can Fix Health Care, New York Times, February 22, 2010: A17).

Former senator Bill Frist starts out strongly advocating that we pay for quality care. However he fails on the crucial tests: How is quality to be assessed; How much do we pay for it? Instead he segues into a non-sequitur advocating decentralization of payment decisions. As far as I can tell he means that "he who wields the scalpel should control the purse," which may be OK for the surgeon but may not be for the other 55 members of the team.

Mr. McClellan has some sensible ideas around Medicare; but why didn't he implement them when he was in charge of Medicare?

Mr. Pinkerton has little to offer; after all most medical research is already funded through the research councils using Federal Government funding.

One of Mr. Kolb's suggestions (health exchanges and ending tax exemptions) has already been rejected by the GOP.

Mr. Gingrich is focused on tort reform; but states that already engage in malpractice damage limitation do not have lower health costs than those who do not.

I do hope that better ideas emerge at next week's conference on health care.

Sent to New York Times

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