My Rule for Life

I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tim Pawlenty, Conservtive?

Mr. Pawlenty is currently being touted as a contender for the republican party as a Presidential candidate in 2012.  Here are his latest thoughts, (Feb 12,2010) on health care.

Here are five ideas that could be passed as separate bills to reform health care:
1) Incentivize (yes, it is a word, I checked) patients to be smart consumers: When people buy food, clothes or cars, they compare prices and quality before making a decision. Why should health care be any different? Well, let me tell you Mr. Pawlenty.  When I buy clothes,  or cars I can read the label.  When I have been with my family physician for 30 years I really don’t care what it cost.  I have developed a relationship with a “person” .  A relationship that transcends money. Being a politician where it is about power, I don’t suppose you would, or could comprehend that.  It’s not about money! In Minnesota, we've created incentives for public employees to seek low-cost, high-quality health care, and given them the information to make smart decisions.  That’s really swell.  In the “public sector”.  Let me guess, union controlled? Was there really a choice? I don’t need the government to “give me information to make smart decisions”.   What have you done for the private section? As a result, the vast majority have migrated to more cost-efficient health-care providers, and we've seen zero or small increases in premiums in recent years. Migrated, hmmm,  sounds like a nice word for accept this or face higher out of pocket costs.  Any federal reforms should similarly make quality and costs more transparent and incentivize smarter health-care decisions.  And, just WHO would regulate this transparency?  Another government agency.  Yep, now there’s a winner!
2) Pay for performance: First I would change this euphemism. Sounds like a hooker to me, pay for performance.  Then again, my first job after graduating from the police acdamey was to work vice.   Under our current system, health-care providers are rewarded for the number of procedures they perform, not for their performance. I like this concept of keeping score.  I think we should do it with Congress.  With the recent  10% approval rating we shouldn’t have to pay them anything.  As a result, the system encourages unnecessary tests that increase costs. Might I point out that I believe every state in the union monitors doctors through a variety of agencies.  Not to mention the Federal government does so. Just an added note.  You and all like you make the assumption that Doctors have no ethics or morals.  This is insulting to the thousands of hard working practicing physicians who put the patient best interests first every time they go to their office, hospital, or clinic. I suggest you make a written a public apology to all hard working ethical physicians.   In Minnesota, we started an innovative program to measure and set performance metrics for providers and make the results public. We are changing our payment system to reward quality rather than quantity. Congress should pass reforms that allow people to stop paying for procedures and start paying for results. New reform? Is that the same as a law? This smells like a new bureaucracy. 

On a real personal note: I am kind of a Bill Cosby kind of guy.  When I go in for an appendectomy I look on the Doctor’s wall.  I want to see if he got an “A” in Appendectomies in college.  If he only got a “C”, I’m looking for a different guy to cut me open!

3) Liability reform: Another way to cut down on unnecessary procedures is to reduce the threat of lawsuits facing health-care providers. This can be a tricky issue for many Democrats, so I was encouraged when President Obama nevertheless opened the door to liability reforms last summer. At a minimum, we should establish uniform standards for medical liability limits to discourage interstate jury shopping that drives up everybody's health-care costs.  We all ready have liability reforms.  It’s called juries of your peers.  If you want to have liability reform why not go after frivolous law suits.  Getting burnt by “hot coffee” comes to mind. 

4) Interstate health-care insurance: There is no reason a Minnesotan should not be able to buy health insurance from any other state. Doing so would dramatically increase insurance choices and cut costs through improved competition. I've proposed legislation to allow Minnesotans to buy health insurance from other states and am working with other governors to establish an interstate purchasing pool with strict standards.  I love this.  “Interstate purchasing pool. Now being the country boy that I am and not having a lot of book learnen  does that sound like or mean one insurance agency for all the states?  One insurance company, one premium, one government agency.  Oh yes, government run health care.  All that has to be done is add the 15 to 50 million, (who knows the real number) of uninsured.   This is an initiative that the federal government could also facilitate.   Beggin’ the pardon of the preachers and ladies who read this blog but, what the hell part of this guy is Conservative?  This is another Federal government agency to be created.  What we need is less Federal government not more of it. 

5) Modernize health insurance: We also need to reform the traditional, employee-based health-care system. Workers today are likely to switch jobs many times over their careers. And that is what makes this America.  It’s called Freedom.  Perhaps it is a new word to your vocabulary but not to millions of Conservatives.  With Freedom goes responsibility.  The responsibility to  make a decision.  If  I take this new job what are the benefits?  What are the disadvantages?   This is the American choice. The current system often punishes individuals who switch jobs or start businesses. That makes no sense. With all due respect to the politician, it makes perfect sense.  Risk, reward.  Advantage, disadvantage.  Freedom, Responsibility. We should make health insurance transferable so employees can keep their coverage if they switch jobs; prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against individuals whose preexisting conditions were covered under insurance they lost through no fault of their own;  I live in a state that all ready does that.  Why do we need the federal government to do that.  If it is important to a segment of society then should and can lobby their local representatives to make it happen and (finally!) encourage the expansion of modern forms of paying for health care, like health savings accounts.   Am I living in the only Utopian state of health care.  My state all does that. I am currently enrolled in an HAS now, as we speak.

With all due respect to the  governor  this sounds like Democrat talking points.  It certainly doesn’t sound  like a true, small government, fiscally conservative, accept responsibility,  hard work ethic, Conservative.  IMHO,  of course.



Anonymous said...

In the words of the late George Carlin; The government doesn't give a sh*t about the public. All they care about is making themselves more powerful and more wealthy. They don't give a crap about the public. No matter how we view Carlin's words, one thing is certain, whether liberal or conservative or the people who do not want to be classified as either, Carlin's got something here.


ABNPOPPA said...


Thank you for your comment. Please come back visit my blog as opinions are always welcome. Open discussion is what it is all about. Actually I believe Carlin may have had something there. I would not say ALL politicians, I would say many are looking for power and by the common man standards most are all ready rich.

Thanks again,

MightyMom said...

wow, a watered down Obama.....frightening.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

No matter how they cut it, it all comes down to control one way or another.

ABNPOPPA said...

Thank you all for your comments. They are very much appreciated.

Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.

Read more about this famous Lutheran Pastor at: