Bobby Jindal on Health Care
Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)
I believe healthcare is a right. The issue is not whether or not to expand and improve healthcare--but whether the instrument of reform will be the government or the private sector. In my view, the government's role should be ensuring a robust marketplace that is competitive (so consumers have choice), transparent (so consumers can make informed decisions), accountable (so resources are leveraged to reward good clinical outcomes rather than simply paying for the process of care), effective (by engaging consumers in making good health choices for themselves and their families), and accessible (so healthcare is affordable).
If human beings have no inherent value, their value comes solely from being useful. Not useful? Then not much of a reason to live.
I'm not suggesting everyone who disagrees with me on the issue of euthanasia takes these views. But if you believe human beings are essentially indistinguishable from animals, you run the risk of viewing life and death issues differently from those who believe there is something profound that separates us from the animal kingdom.
Those who promote the concept that some human life is more valuable than any other life, and therefore advocate abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, cheapen human life and lay the groundwork for all sorts of destructive behavior. What we need is a culture of life that values human beings as unique creatures who were made by our Creator.
Under the initiative, the state will for the first time be able to hold our healthcare system accountable for outcomes in Medicaid. Right now, all we can do is pay over 50 million claims a year to over 30,000 providers. We get a bill and we pay it, with no assurance that the service was necessary, improved the patient's health, or was even safe.
Proponents support voting YES because:
This legislation is an overdue step to improve part D drug benefits. The bipartisan bill is simple and straightforward. It removes the prohibition from negotiating discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and requires the Secretary of Health & Human Services to negotiate. This legislation will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.
It is equally important to understand that this legislation does not do certain things. HR4 does not preclude private plans from getting additional discounts on medicines they offer seniors and people with disabilities. HR4 does not establish a national formulary. HR4 does not require price controls. HR4 does not hamstring research and development by pharmaceutical houses. HR4 does not require using the Department of Veterans Affairs' price schedule.
Opponents support voting NO because:
Does ideological purity trump sound public policy? It shouldn't, but, unfortunately, it appears that ideology would profoundly change the Medicare part D prescription drug program, a program that is working well, a program that has arrived on time and under budget. The changes are not being proposed because of any weakness or defect in the program, but because of ideological opposition to market-based prices. Since the inception of the part D program, America's seniors have had access to greater coverage at a lower cost than at any time under Medicare.
Under the guise of negotiation, this bill proposes to enact draconian price controls on pharmaceutical products. Competition has brought significant cost savings to the program. The current system trusts the marketplace, with some guidance, to be the most efficient arbiter of distribution.
Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to:
Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2007 - A bill to advance medical research and treatments into pediatric cancers, ensure patients and families have access to the current treatments and information regarding pediatric cancers, establish a population-based national childhood cancer database, and promote public awareness of pediatric cancers.
As Governors, we are writing to you regarding the excessive constraints placed on us by healthcare-related federal mandates. One of our biggest concerns continues to be the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which prevent states from managing their Medicaid programs for their unique Medicaid populations. We ask for your immediate action to remove these MOE requirements so that states are once again granted the flexibility to control their program costs and make necessary budget decisions.
Every Governor, Republican and Democrat, will face unprecedented budget challenges in the coming months. Efforts to regulate state operations impose greater uncertainty on our budgets for oncoming years and create a perfect storm when coupled with the current state of the economy.
Health and education are the primary cost drivers for most state budgets. Medicaid enrollment is up. Revenues are down. States are unable to afford the current Medicaid program, yet our hands are tied by the MOE requirements. The effect of the federal requirements is unconscionable; the federal requirements force Governors to cut other critical state programs, such as education, in order to fund a "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid. Again, we ask you to lift the MOE requirements so that states may make difficult budget decisions in ways that reflect the needs of their residents.
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