Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Connect the Dots: National Health Care Insurance and Limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Efforts to introduce a National Health Care Insurance Policy for Americans has received criticism from opponents in the past on the basis of who was behind the first initiative at the executive wing; costs of such initiative; and, the fear that an initiative of this nature can only be construed as Health Socialism, since it will not allow for complete freedom of choice, including the: 1) freedom to pick one's doctor and treatment source; 2) freedom to move care to a provider of choice when there is an unsatisfactory performance in the care of loved ones by medical personnel; 3) freedom to allow pharmaceutical companies to conduct basic research that may dramatically improve production of revolutionary drugs and vaccines that will solve the challenge of cancer or similar ailment.

Here are a couple of reasons why the Clinton Administration’s stab at the first National Health Insurance initiative failed: 1) It’s goal of designing a comprehensive universal health care for all Americans was essentially too ambitious; 2) using the spouse of a sitting President to drive the objective of the plan opened it up for detractor’s criticism from both the right and the left, as this effort was unprecedented in the annals of public policy; 3) The voluminous (1000 pages) representation of the core element of the plan called for enforced mandate for employers to provide health insurance to their workers through competitive but closely regulated health maintenance organizations (HMOs), without defining the role of the HMO’s in relation to employers and government funding of the program; 4) the bill suffered from not having a bipartisan support and cooperation and failed to take care of the little intricate issues associated with bills development and canvassing; 5) the process and the plan of enacting a gigantic bill as this needed more backroom hobnobbing and cooperative understanding to be able to get the bill through; 6) Unwillingness of the political parties to confront the associated risk of using Health Management Organization to manage part of the plan; 7) Failure of the initiative to allow for some state as well as private market to control medical pricing services; and 8) Medical staff and institutions who were to become key players in the process, doctors, hospitals, clinics and pharmacy, were not properly informed about health services deliveries nor offered a better appreciation of how far we have come to passing a healthcare insurance bill in the last 2 decades. Just before the introduction of the bill on the Senate floor, the far right political groups started singing new tune. A tune essentially designed to scuttle the progress already made at the committee level. They taut the National Health Insurance Initiative as unworkable given the existing dispensation of Medicare and Social Security laws.

The Obama’s Administration staff must now cross their T’s and dot their I’s before bringing their new bill and proposal on health care insurance and control of the burning of fossil fuels (green house gas emissions control). Drafters of the health insurance and carbon control initiatives must endeavor to answer the following questions about either of the proposals:
1) What can the Senators and Congressmen do to support the bill so that the potential of it passing has a greater chance, either in the short-term or in the long-term;
2) What can be done to execute the process of facilitating and ushering the bills on the floors of the house and senate and ensuring that guaranteed promises will not be broken;
3) How best can we explain the added cost to national health care bill from the mining of coal and the associated pollution of fossil burning without sounding trite?
4) What are the components of the proposed health care insurance that needs to be explained to any potential opponents to the bill;
5) Where do we go from here if we once again fail to convince the congress to pass these bills?
In these questions we will not only find answers to concerns of the current nay Sayers to a national health insurance bill or green house emission standard, but also avoid the pitfalls of the Clinton Administration that led to the demise of the first effort in congress regarding National Healthcare Insurance Initiative.
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