The case against health care reform

Say hi to Conservatives for Patients Rights, headed by former Columbia/HCA executive Richard Scott.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

With the President meeting a host of interest groups, aiming for a consensus on health reform, I thought it might be fun to check in on some folks who were not invited, would not come, and are dedicated to beating back President Obama's plans for health reform.

So say hi to Conservatives for Patients Rights, headed by former Columbia/HCA executive Richard Scott.

Scott bases his opposition on what he calls "four pillars," or principles:

  1. Patients must be able to choose their own doctor and health plan.
  2. Post prices and let insurers compete across state lines.
  3. Standardize forms and tax treatment.
  4. Maintain personal responsiblity for health care choices.

In theory there is nothing objectionable here.

Freedom to keep a plan and doctor is already in Obama's plan. Price transparency is a very good thing, although critics might call a national market a race to the bottom. Standard forms and tax treatment are very good, and who's against personal responsibility?

The devil, as always, is in the details, and I have a problem with the name. Are liberals against patient rights? If moderates agree with these principles should they feel unwelcome? More important, has Scott noticed that "conservative," as a brand, is not selling as it once did?

Scott promises a $20 million ad campaign to fight the Administration, and is beginning with radio ads repeating the McCaughey claims that comparative effectiveness is some left-wing plot to get between you and your doctor.

Scott's main page also offers an unidentified link to a Heritage Foundation report attacking the Stimulus. Its conclusion is another call to reduce taxes and regulation.

Meanwhile, the Obama people keep seducing interest groups, telling them they each need only give up a little to get millions of new customers. By going for the money first, then talking to everyone about efficiency, his political plan seems to be working.

I admit I do not agree with Mr. Scott on the issue but he deserves a respectful hearing. Let me conclude with a request to those of you who oppose the President's program. Check out his site, his links and his points. Any advice you'd like to give him? I feel certain he would love to hear from you.

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