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Quick Thoughts on Random Things from a Tired Brain

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I’ve started about 15 pages of blog comments this week, but can’t seem to finish any of them—or even a thought. So here are a few blurbs and links. Have a great weekend!

Read the Bills For Yourself

Many folks have asked for links to the Senate and House bills. HR 3200 encompasses three committees with three mark-ups, and the revised version isn’t available yet, so the link below just leads to the original official version. Senate Finance will hopefully come out after Labor Day…most people are guessing mid September. Will post here when we see them.

                Senate HELP: http://help.senate.gov/BAI09A84_xml.pdf 
                HR 3200: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3200:

How Much It Will Cost to Cover the Uninsured

While I am pretty good at managing my own budget and have had every version of Quicken for 15 years, I’m not a numbers guy. I found these great whitepapers and studies that the Kaiser Family Foundation did very helpful and surprising (we’re possibly making a mountain out of a mole hill about the costs of covering the uninsured relative to total healthcare spending and other big line items in the federal budget!).  

5 Real Issues I Wish We Would Talk About

1) Generate a top 10 list of ways to save major money in healthcare to help pay for the uninsured. Example: could preventing falls and medication errors at home save $50B a year?   This article got me thinking:  http://finance.yahoo.com/insurance/article/107498/health-care-six-money-wasting-problems.html?mod=insurance-health

2) There are multi $B industries that thrive on the inefficiencies & bureaucracies of healthcare, and they don’t want reform to happen because it hurts their bottom line  (“one person’s waste is another person’s job”).

3) How to convert #2 above into new industries and jobs for America for 21st century healthcare delivery. If health reform is done right, it could re-employ people…or aim existing industries that aren’t needed anymore at new problems/priorities for investment.

4) We need to deal with tort reform and malpractice insurance issues. Some claim this is a smokescreen, and we don’t need tort reform. Some claim we need major restructuring of malpractice laws. I don’t know the facts. But I do know that almost every physician we survey and study tells horror stories about malpractice premiums and cases.

5) We need to seriously examine the ways in which we license doctors and nurses to practice medicine. I don’t believe the 50 state model is needed anymore; it’s expensive and is stifling innovation of new care models, business models, and technologies in America. But I am sure there are other sides to this issue we should surface.