Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Views on Healthcare: Ashley

Hello, it's Ashley. I know you probably got to read my opinions on the healthcare debate already when you read the conversation Anya and I had on Facebook that we posted earlier, however I wanted to present my views in a more succinct and deliberate way. There is a bias here, however Anya will be posting her opinions as well which serves to balance our blog out. I hope you are able to maybe read some new ideas you haven't heard of before and get a broader basis of knowledge on this complicated issue.

I personally was not originally on the bandwagon for a Healthcare bill; I suppose you could say I'm not really for one now either. This is not because I don't think Healthcare needs reformation, because it does. I think that Healthcare is way too costly now and this really shouldn't be. However, it is my own personal beliefs that if given the chance and opportunity, the private sector can fix many economic wrongs. The way we could do that is make the private insurers have to comply with anti-trust laws. This would aid in creating more competition in the market and therefore lower the prices. It's a basic economic principle: If you have more companies selling the same product (basically) the good is very elastic, meaning the insurance companies have to have low pricing to stay in the arena. And as already stated competition creates low prices, which is good for people purchasing Healthcare. Also, in the long run, fewer people would be dropped by their insurers for having illnesses, etc. because then bad word of mouth would spread about said insurance companies and they would eventually go out of business. On the flip side, why would we wait to take the long run when we could just have the government fix it? Well, I suppose the answer to that question lies in how much you think the government should interfere in our lives/the economy/the private sector. This is a simple way the private sector could take care of one of the main contentions with the state of Healthcare as it is now and it is a much more cost-effective way to do so. The proposed Healthcare bills would be in the trillions of dollars price range and the private sector option wouldn't cost as much, if anything. However, I don't think the private sector can make all the changes that are necessary to improve Healthcare, but it seems to be a good start and it seems to cover the main points of debate. Also, it seems like in the proposed healthcare plans the quality of care is not talked about much. What would this do to the quality of doctors we have and hospitals? A worry is that future doctors wouldn't have incentive to become doctors or current doctors would leave their practices because they wouldn't be getting as much money as they do now. I think we don't want the quality of our care to go down so we should pay the doctors what we're paying them now, or work something out that wouldn’t compromise the quality of our healthcare. They're already reluctant to see Medicare patients; do we want them to be reluctant to see all patients? This is just one thing to think about though. However, I have a firm grasp of reality and know all the things I have proposed are not going to happen, at least in this Administration. However, I think it's important for you to know both sides of the coin and not only understand the government Healthcare bill, but also how things could be done differently.

To talk about the actual Healthcare bill, I like the idea of the trigger option, which would apply to people not getting coverage from their employers. To my understanding that would mean there would be insurance exchanges, which are not run by private insurers or the government, however the government will watch over them to make sure they’re reaching standards, etc. I think a good analogy for it would be to say it’s like a Stock Exchange for Insurance plans, but it’s a non-profit organization. So substitute buying/selling stocks for buying/selling insurance plans. If these insurance exchanges aren’t effective, then that would trigger a government run public option on a state-by-state basis. The reason why I like it is because the insurance exchanges are like a third party, meaning the government isn't getting involved unless it's not working. That's a little more comforting than to think that the government will compete with private insurers. Some problems with the government competing with private insurers are that it might not be a fair competition, and also because the government isn't a business and it worries me when it starts to act like one. Business and governments are completely different and in my humble opinion, should not be mixed. So, if the government public option competes fairly with private insurance and the government doesn't try to take over Healthcare, then I’m somewhat okay with a public option. But for me personally, as stated before, I'd like the least amount of government in this as possible.

On a side note: I just wanted to express my awe of how Healthcare has evolved since last November and now. Last November, the words "universal healthcare" were being tossed around and that was an actual consideration for what our Healthcare system would look like. It seems like now the point of universal healthcare is moot. After the notion of universal healthcare was dispelled, then came the "public option". It started out as broad and then just got narrower and narrower until it disappeared, almost. It hasn’t totally been erased from the bill, but it's been severely diminished to the point that it's like a last resort. So, now the trigger option seems alive because it will generate the most votes by being unassuming and quiet. On other words, it doesn't ruffle many feathers. It's an interesting feeling to go from thinking there will be total government control of Healthcare to barely any. I guess that's what’s great about a democratic society, extremes are weeded out if the people aren't ready/don't want them.


  1. Great blog. It's really encouraging that people that may yet be too young to vote are still interested in politics and are willing to have a civil and informed conversation about it.

    "It's an interesting feeling to go from thinking there will be total government control of Healthcare to barely any." What that should raise mental red flags about is not that there was an extreme measure under consideration, but that politics is a messy process and lies are the rule, not the exception -- "death panels", etc.

    My unasked-for advice as you and Anya move forward with this topic is that you not shy away from details and that you provide links to relevant pages that support your arguments.

    I look forward to learning a thing or two.

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  3. Thanks. I agree...politics is messy and lies seem very prevalent. Also, I just think the system of government we have makes compromise a must. A lot of it is counting votes. I also have a link for an article on the trigger option:,0,7688557.story. And thanks for the advice, it is always welcome. I hope you do learn some new things