by Robert M. Levy
Sunday, January 31, 2010
My college sociology professor always gave his classes term papers that we knew would take half a semester of solitary confinement in the graduate library.
But, like most workers, the professor was not fond of uncompensated overtime just to grade the ridiculous ramblings of a sophomore suffering from a weekend hangover. So he limited the length of our papers and reminded us to get to work promptly.
"If I have more time, I can write a shorter paper," he reminded us.
It was the only good advice I ever heard from a socialist. And, I hope that the Congress will take that advice, too.
With the election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate, health-care reform has stalled. It was 2,000 pages of leftist legal regurgitation from 60 years of dreams originated by politicians who advocated the policies of Lenin and Trotsky as the solution for the problems of the Great Depression.
So it is now my dream that the current socialists who still maintain a commanding legislative majority will take the advice of their "fellow traveler" from Carolina and take more time. Write a shorter law.
It can be done. I spent 30 years practicing law in California, where Governor Pat Brown Jr. told us that "less is more." I have a few minutes, so I can give them a little less. I can write SB 2010 as follows:
- Interstate Sale of Insurance: In order to aid in the expansion of interstate commerce in intangible goods, it shall be permissible for persons licensed to sell health insurance in any state to sell health insurance through a licensed insurance broker in the state in which the policy is purchased. The state from which the product originates must allow the policy to be sold to its citizens and must guarantee the solvency of the issuing company through an insurance guarantee fund utilized by all that state's admitted carriers.
- Tort Reform: In order for any state to receive existing funding for schools of medicine, it must limit the liability of health-care providers to no more than $250,000 for noneconomic damages such as "pain and suffering." This amount shall be adjusted upward or downward each Jan. 2 based upon the rise or fall of the Consumer Price Index.
- More Tort Reform: In order for states to receive existing federal funding for schools of medicine: (1) No attorney in the state may collect as his fee more than 25 percent of a medical malpractice settlement award; (2) No amount of damages may be collected from any negligent health-care provider except in the proportion to the actor's percentage of negligence; and (3) If a plaintiff commences an action for medical malpractice, the parties that prevail shall be entitled to their reasonable attorney fees from the non-prevailing party.
- Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions/No Cancellation: Any medical insurance policy written by a company involved in commerce shall not exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions as long as the insured has been continually insured for the previous year. If not insured for the previous year, the insured shall have coverage for pre-existing illnesses not more than one year after insurance commences. And no insurance policy in force for one year or more may be canceled or contested for any reason except nonpayment of premium.
Now, I do not believe that Harry Reid will be receptive to this bill, chiefly because it will not cost the government any money. Put another way, there is no tax money in the bill to pay off the unions in his Nevada casinos.
Yet, I believe that if the public wants health reform at all, given the time we now have to exhale the smog-filled air of Pelosi's San Francisco, we can write a much shorter bill that breaks a new ground of fairness for patients whose appendix need an extraction as opposed to the cash in their wallets.
Both Congress and the president were reprimanded by the voters of Massachusetts. I hope they now know that part of the art of politics is the same as the art of a KISS: "Keep It -Simple, Stupid!"
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican Party. Contact him at Law52@Prodigy.net.