After the Summit on the Health Care Reforms, it looks like that Obama and the Democrats are determined to pass a major Health Care Reform bill using the reconciliation process. The Republicans have obviously denounced this approach. However America is spending 17.3% of its GDP on health care and still does not have universal health care. There is no question that America needs Health Care Reform and it is the time to do so.
For the Health Care Reform to be meaningful it is of utmost importance that effective cost control measures are built in the bill including limiting liabilities on the medical profession. The following sensible ideas were suggested by the Republican participants in the Summit.
1. Measures to search for and eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse by Medicare and Medicaid providers.
2. Health courts as an alternative to jury trials in medical malpractice cases using an expert judge to review the evidence and give a final judgment.
Alternately a cap can be put limiting the liabilities of medical profession for malpractice cases. California and a couple of other states already have such a law in place.
3. Health savings accounts for individuals and small business to purchase coverage.
4. Increased reimbursements to Medicaid providers
In addtion to the above, the anti trust exemption for the health care insurers should also be repealed.
Limiting the liabilities of medical profession will face strong opposition from the Trial Lawyers who provide significant funding to Democratic Party. However if Obama and the Democrats are serious about meaningful Health Care Reforms, they need to provide effective cost control measures in the Health Care reform bill.