Once again, we read today that Governor-Elect Mary Fallin is AGAINST (health insurance mandate). But all I see at her website, regarding what she is for, are some platitudes. I am not looking foward to four years of hearing about how Ms. Fallin hates the Mexicans, hates Obama, hates health care reform, and hates liberals. Since she is about to take office, it is about time we started hearing some detailed plans. Ginning up a lynch mob is a fine strategy to get elected, it worked well for her, but unless she plans to govern by lynch mob, there needs to be some substantive policy proposals.
So I’m waiting, what is Queen of Lynch Mobs Governor-Elect Fallin’s substantive non-platitudinal plan for health care access for the numerous Oklahomans who do not have health care insurance?
Inquiring minds want to know.
I could make a suggestion or two. And I think just for the heck of it, I will. Not that anyone in goobermint would pay much attention, but here it goes anyway.
The first thing to do is to increase access to basic entry-level health care by allowing nurse practitioners to practice independently of indentured servitude to doctors. This would create an entirely new level of entry into the health care system. Right now, thanks to GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS, if you have a sniffle you have to proceed immediately to the most expensive place to get health care — a doctor’s office. But a better place for a sniffle, or a chest infection, or a wooden sliver stuck under your fingernail, would be the office of a nurse practitioner. He or she would be treating a smaller range of issues, have less expenses, lower insurance costs, and so the retail price to the health care consumer would be less. They might even make house calls. But while we have nurse practitioners now, they are not allowed BY LAW to reach their full potential, since they must practice under the authority (and legal and insurance responsibility) of a licensed medical doctor.
Changing that would require challenging the wealthy and powerful doctor’s lobby, which gives lots of money to Republican candidates, including Ms. Fallin. See Follow the Money and note how many $5,000 donors were doctors, pharmacists, or associations thereof.
Doctors generally feel that people should go without health care rather than visit someone less expensive, but still competent, like a nurse practitioner.
Turning to dental issues, how about allowing denturists, who make dentures, sell directly to the public? This is vociferously opposed by organized dentists, who like doctors, prefer that people go without dental care than visit someone other than their august selves for something simple like a set of dentures.
The cost differences are major. I know someone who was quoted a price by a dentist of $2,400 for an upper plate (!!!), which is available from one denturist I know who has kind of a sub rosa practice selling direct to the public for $300. He has dental insurance, with an annual maximum of $2,000. So the dentist wanted $2K from the insurance company and $400 cash from the patient for a $300 item. Hmmm. $2,000 versus $300. That’s the price of government regulation in dental care.
So why don’t we ever hear conservative Republicans talking about these FREE MARKET solutions? Well, like the website says, advice also given me by my grandfathers — follow the money. People without health care insurance, people who need dentures, don’t give money to political candidates. So their voices aren’t heard. Mary Fallin will never propose releasing nurse practitioners from indentured servitude to doctors, nor will she support allowing people to buy dentures directly from denturists. There’s no political capital there for her, only the common good, and we all know how little the Lynch Mob Queen cares about the common good.