Senator Folmer’s “clenched fist” of health care bills mostly serve as a reminder that Republicans have no idea how to control health care costs.
The 401K-style health savings accounts, the high-risk pools, the attempt to gut the Essential Health Benefits package with race-to-the-bottom style competition between private insurers – all the stupidest Republican ideas are in there, and what all of them have in common is a proud and foolish determination to undermine the pooled risk concept that undergirds all successful universal health care systems. Fragmenting the payer base to the point of absurdity appears to be the goal here, which shows you that Republicans haven’t given a shred of thought to how the health care political economy works.
But check this out. Just in case their dumb ideas don’t pan out, they’re going to sneak a
death panel cost control board into the program. Senator Folmer isn’t going to want to talk to KP about what this thing is, but I’d love to know so much more about what the GOP has in mind for this if some less partisan reporters want to ask.
Because to me, it looks like when push comes to shove, and it’s time to clench your fists and really pound health care price inflation’s face into the dirt, even Republicans know you need an expert panel of unelected bureaucrats to come up with the cost controls:
The first step in giving consumers more choices is requiring that each of the current insurance mandates be periodically justified. Healthy PA would do this by chronologically staggering the sun setting of all current mandates, as well as sun setting all future mandates five years after their enactment. Prior to the re-authorization of a mandate by the General Assembly, the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council would have to issue a cost