A conservative approach to universal health insurance

Voices are starting to emerge on the right promoting a response to the Democrat’s plan that consists of something more material than repeal and replace. From the Washington Examiner:

The good news is that we don’t have to theorize about unproven solutions to our health care problems. Two wealthy countries have health care systems that, if we could substitute them for our own, would exceed the wildest dreams of American conservative reformers. Switzerland and Singapore achieve universal coverage while spending a fraction of what we spend, and they ensure broad access to high-quality doctors and the latest technology.

The plan is worth a look. There are issues with the approach he is adopting, starting with the fact that Singapore’s health care system is much closer single-payer than conservatives seem ready to recognize. But this represents progress. If conservatives ever emerge from the mire of conspiracy and delusion and start debating actual alternatives to Obamacare, we might see good things happen.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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27 comments on “A conservative approach to universal health insurance
  1. DanMan says:

    “If we learn from both countries, we can achieve a substantial reduction in the scope of government-run health care — and we wouldn’t have to repeal Obamacare to do it.”

    And that’s where the train left the track. Chris Avik Roy is no more conservative than you are if he advocates government control of health care.

    1) Completely remove the link between employment and insurance except as a method to assess actuaries. If an employer wants to provide insurance he can do so but it counts as income to you and a salary write down for him.
    2) Provide income tax exemptions on the first $5k in yearly premiums.
    3) Provide pre-tax deposits into a health savings account that go with the insurer wherever he goes.
    4) Allow for shopping across state lines for health insurance.

    If you end up in an emergency room and don’t have insurance and a means to pay the bill you ought to qualify for Medicaid under those Medicaid rules, which pretty much means you don’t have any assets. If you end up in an emergency room with no insurance but have assets, you owe the money and either you sell your assets or arrange a payment plan. Everybody else takes care of themselves through insurance that they own, direct payment or arrange a payment plan.

    If people had to shop for insurance like they shop for shoes it would straighten things out very quickly. I would have said phones but that is a subsidized item for another discussion. Suffice it to say, I don’t think Carlos Slim should be getting US tax dollars to provide Obamaphones either.

    I do not understand the weakness in people that allow them to believe their best interests are served by government control of large aspects of their lives. Defense, basic infrastructure and enough police and courts to manage the outliers in society are enough for me. Demanding equality of outcome is a losers game. Requiring responsibility is paramount. That’s the message that absolutely stuns liberals.

    btw, Capt Stern rocks this board. Good to see you here man.

    • Crogged says:

      What ‘stuns’ liberals is your arbitrary assertion that somehow the health of the citizens is NOT part of the role of government. We can do better and cheaper than what you propose and those who have more money are welcome to seek whatever ‘excessive’ medical aid they want.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Well thank you, kind sir. You do quite well yourself. I wasn’t going to follow the crowd here, but ended up doing so anyway. Have not decided yet if I will stay or if I will go back to just reading occasionally. Here is a closed group of known people and limited readership. Muchh like talking in a closed room instead of attempting to reach the public and change minds.

  2. kabuzz61 says:

    a big majority of American’s are against Obamacare. Obama was shown to be a huge liar to the citizens with the ‘you can keep your doctor’ promise. The roll out has been disastrous. So many waivers have been handed out it’s ridiculous. Parts of the plan are being put on hold by Obama due to it’s failures and the election coming up. Yet the liberals on this site support his plan. Now THAT is performance art.

  3. Turtles Run says:

    I think the Singapore approach will never work in the United States because the same people hollering to the moon about the weak mandates and government involvement in healthcare that make up Obamacare will not accept the strong central control over public hospitals, the forced participation of citizens to pay into healthcare savings accounts, and the government actively regulating the cost of healthcare and the earnings of doctors within the public system that covers 3/4 of the citizenry.

    If a country know for being one of the most business-friendly environments in the world feels the need to centralize control of of its health care system then how is our nation going to apply a “conservative” approach to health care?

    http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/about-singapore-ctd-part-2/

    http://www.amazon.com/Affordable-Excellence-Singapore-Health-System-ebook/dp/B00CDUS7WS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

  4. lomamonster says:

    The word ‘conservative” has now become a sickening subterfuge behind which hide the most horrendously antisocial psychopaths in our midst. The crush of humanity and the need to survive will ultimately determine how that category of behavior will become permanently outlawed in the future and treated as an impermissible disease of the mind. It will be stamped out wherever it continues to resurface and fugitives will be hunted down and forced to perform benevolent acts at town squares across the nation. The most recalcitrant will have to carry “Up With People” ID cards and recite Mark Twain anecdotes upon demand.

    Some party…

  5. CaptSternn says:

    There is no conservative approach to universal, or socialist, health care because socialism and communism are against conservative principles. There was no crisis in health care and no need for this “reform”. There are no conspiracy theories because the goal was openly stated, destroy private sector insurance and have the government take over control of health care, socialism. The PPACA could have killed a little cousin of mine because the option of doing nothing was an option, and the law states that the option of doing nothing was required.

    Here is the way to fix the problems created by democrats, repeal Obamacare completely. Then use the commerce clause properly by allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines and forbid the subsidizing of health care in other countries by forbidding drug companies to sell drugs for less outside the States than they sell for inside the States.

    Another fix is to do away with free care in emergency rooms. Any person that voluntarily shows up for treatment and then refuses to pay should be charged with theft of services. If they are too poor to pay, they would be on state run Medicaid. They have the option to seek treatment at county run hospitals and clinics. Phase out federal involvement in Medicaid and Medicare.

    But it all comes down to controlling others, butting into everybody else’s business and avoiding responsibility. That is what the left is all about. Not to mention reducing our GDP, hurting the economy, destroying good paying jobs, increasing unemployment and creating even more dependence on government. More control, less freedom.

    • Crogged says:

      Insurance isn’t socialism.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, privately owned and operated insurance isn’t socialism. Government owned and operated insurance is socialism. The openly stated goal is to destroy the private sector. As of now, insurance companies have become extensions of the federal government. They are told what coverage they must offer, for what price, for what profit margine. Now Obama and democrats are looking to bail them out because, obviously, they are not quite ready for the total takeover and they are facing mid-term elections. Get the government out of it, make isurance voluntary instead of mandatory. Clear enough?

      • Crogged says:

        Take it up with F. A. Hayek

    • Crogged says:

      So go to Austin and tell them to quit meddling with car insurance. Oh and Texas turned down the expansion of Medicaid, so you need another idea for taking care of us unwashed, lazy people.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Car ownership is not mandated, nor is driving on public roads, and state government is not federal government.

        Yes, Texas decided against more expenses, saving the state money.

        Try again.

    • goplifer says:

      Sometimes I can’t tell if this is genuine political nuttiness or some kind of elaborate performance art. Anybody remember Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton?

    • John Galt says:

      Stern’s solution is for everyone to either pay for insurance or for care themselves, unless they are too poor to pay in which case they would be covered by Medicaid. He is also against expanding Medicaid, so those people too poor to pay won’t be covered by Medicaid. In the meantime, my taxes are being used to subsidize Medicaid participation of poor people in Minnesota and Illinois rather than Texas, while my taxes to the Harris County Hospital District pay for what Medicaid expansion would have covered.

      What a conservative solution that is!

    • WRM says:

      So, you want to destroy the free market by saying that a company’s Indian subsidiary can’t sell drugs in India, made in India, for less than what they cost in the US? I thought you fully supported the right of any producer to get as much for his product as the market is willing to pay.

  6. Bobo Amerigo says:

    In 2008, Frontline explored several health care solutions in other countries:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

    While I don’t recall the details, I do remember being impressed by Singapore’s approach.

    However, I am not a ‘conservative’: I believe health care is a human right in our country.

    And I’m not referring to health care insurance.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Health care is a right. Owning firearms is a right. We have the right to all we want and can afford. Nobody is entitled to health care nor firearms. If you can’t afford an AR-15, the government has no duty to provide you one. You have the right to buy ammunition for it if you can afford it. The government has no duty to provide you that ammunition. You have the right to own a sports car, if you can afford it. The government has no duty to provide you with a sports car. You have the right to free speech, to publish a blog or news paper. If you cannot afford to do so, the government has no duty to provide it for you.

      Leftists have a real problem understanding the differences between privileges, rights and entitlements.

    • DanMan says:

      Who is denied healthcare Bob? If everybody ‘deserves’ health care to be PAID for by others, why not require food to be paid for? You have to eat to live. What about housing? Surely that basic necessity should be provided to keep health care costs down.

  7. DFC says:

    I’m not sure what about this plan is “conservative” when by the Right’s own measure, the only authentically Conservative position is to burn Obamacare and salt the earth. Admitting that there ever was any merit to health care reform in the first place would be a concession. Attempting to promote an alternative would be admitting that change was ever really necessary. And surely, executing any detailed plan would give credence to the impermissible notion that anything but a free market is a solution.

    The Right lost the initiative because taking it here or elsewhere is quintessentially Un-Conservative. If Republicans try to pick it up now, they’re doing something else that is, to some voters, quintessentially Un-Conservative: admitting they were wrong, earning from their errors, and evolving. Anyone who tries this is exposing his flank to strafing from his own party.

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