This week I launched the “100 Ideas” on our discussion tab on Facebook. It builds upon Rubio’s great idea of collecting 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future. The best ideas will come from the People, those who are experiencing the struggles that have been compounded by a number of individuals in Congress.
It’s been quiet on the discussion board, so in an attempt to spark the conversation, here are two ideas I really like and that should be part of our Nations Health Care Reform. Let me know what you think, and post your ideas.
Health Care Reform – Encouraging the Adoption of Health Information Technology. Just as individuals should own their own health coverage, they also should own their health records. By establishing a modern market-driven approach to building a National Health Information Network, this plan will give every American ownership over his or her own medical record, transitioning the health care industry from paper-based medical records to electronic medical records through the creation of Independent Health Record Trusts. With electronic accounts, medical records travel with the individual, allowing timely and more accurate diagnoses and treatments. The Health Record Trusts, modeled on the framework of credit unions, will allow medical information to be managed in the same manner that financial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies, manage financial data – establishing a nationwide health information technology network designed to improve health care quality, reduce medical errors, and ensure that appropriate information is easily accessible.
Health Information Technology will also help fight the over $100 BILLION in Medicare and Medicaid fraud and will create jobs.
Health Care Reform – Interstate Purchasing. Currently, individuals and families can purchase health insurance only in the States in which they live, because insurance companies are prohibited from selling polices outside their respective States. Thus the consumer is prevented from purchasing coverage from another State that might offer more suitable, or more affordable, coverage.
This proposal breaks the lock, allowing each individual to use the refundable tax credit toward the purchase of health insurance in any State. This will greatly expand the choices of coverage available to the consumer, and also will encourage broader competition and diversity among insurers, who will be able to sell their policies to individuals and families in every State, as other companies do in other sectors of the economy. After analyzing Federal Employee Health Benefits Program [FEHBP] preferred provider organization [PPO] prices, the Government Accountability Office reports: “We found that FEHBP PPO hospital prices differed by 259 percent and physician prices differed by about 100 percent across metropolitan areas in the United States, after we removed the geographic variation associated with the costs of doing business such as rents and salaries, and differences in the types of services provided.”
Allowing consumers to shop across State lines will balance State regulation of health insurance. Individuals no longer will have to pay for health benefits mandated by their home States that they do not need; they will be able to choose policies from States whose mandates better fit their personal circumstances. States will then have an incentive to balance their insurance mandates against costs to remain competitive with other States.
In the words of Samuel Adams, “It does not require a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires of freedom in the minds of men.”