I am waiting for just one politician to find their spine by standing up and asking, "Why do we need a huge, pork & earmarked bill for health care reform?" Wouldn't reform be easier and quicker to pass if Health Care reform legislation consisted of multiple, small bills devoid of earmarks (why would any be needed in National Health Care reform?). For that matter, why would you need a bill to remove waste and fraud from Medicaid/Medicare? Just do it.
I personally believe that three ideas would go a long way to reform health care and then this administration can put the damn thing to bed and start working on the issues that really require their attention...our Economy, along with Iran and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
First, we need to allow Interstate Health Insurance and remove the Intrastate monopoly. This would stimulate competition and help lower every one's costs. Since Interstate commerce is one item the Federal Government is supposed to regulate this item is a No-Brainer. It may also help relax some requirements (preexisting conditions and coverage not wanted or needed) that are harmful. This would require no earmarks because it should require no money allocations. Everything is already in place. An added benefit is that we can easily see how Congress votes on this issue and it would not be influenced by other issues.
Second, we need to also allow Insurance portability. By that I mean allow the insurance a person signs up for at work stays with them even if they do not get another job. again, since the first item is in place, insurance companies would want more business and offer better deals to individuals whether they are self-employed, working for a large or small business or not working at all. Portability should also be almost cost free and should be overseen by the first reform, Interstate Insurance availability.
Thirdly, we need to establish tort reforms. This is the murkiest suggestion as far as being Constitutional is involved, but don't let the Progressive and other Big Government proponents fool you about this would not save on medical costs. The huge insurance premiums that doctor's have to pay need to be recouped and are passed along to their patients. This extreme cost has driven some doctor's out of medicine and has caused many perspective doctor's to ignore medical school altogether. Especially when you look at the lower pay that Medicaid and Medicare doctor's are paid. Of course is hikes up doctor's bills because many bills are inflated due to the known reduction that Medicare and Medicaid will pay. I am not talking about caps on actual damages but on, what I believe are called, Punitive damages or payment for pain and suffering. Along with the other reforms, this change should help cut out some Bill Padding (which will help reduce waste in the Medicare/Medicaid systems).
Of course, these changes might require a beefing up of the Interstate Commerce Commission employees but that cost is much better then the money being bandied about now for Health Care Reform. Like Glenn Beck asks "Where has common sense gone?"