Personal responsibility, not big government | AspenTimes.com

Personal responsibility, not big government

Dear Editor:Wouldn’t it be more prudent to talk about simple reform right now instead of another government program to parent us? Does anyone remember their grandparents being taken care of by their parents or just plain families being responsible for “the elders”?So, how about this for starters:1. Reform tort law. Doctors now have to carry so much medical malpractice insurance that many are forced from practicing because of the threat of huge lawsuits. This is also a significant contributor to health care cost inflation because doctors are compelled to practice defensive medicine.2. Deregulate insurance companies. Aspen is basically devoid of any insurance carrier competition because of government regulation. Wouldn’t it be helpful to bring back competition so we could actually “shop” for insurance like we shop for flat-screen televisions? See how fast insurers’ premiums and benefits would come in line.3. Prevention bonus. Insurance companies should reward healthy behavior. If you keep your weight within realistic parameters, you do not smoke, you exercise, etc., you get a break on your premiums. We get it for car insurance if students get good grades. Why are we all paying for the fattening of America?4. Give people a stake. What I see happening now is that someone else pays for your insurance. When I asked last month what my blood test cost, the nurse was offended and said no one ever asked that before. How about you get so much each month for insurance (from your boss, etc.). You get to shop around for a doctor or blood test or drugstore to decide how to spend it. Many companies are already turning to health savings accounts to promote personal responsibility. Wouldn’t you pay more attention to cost?We really do not need another government program. Do you really want to be told which doc you can use? How about the poor docs – should they be told who they can see and what they can charge? It won’t be long with this invasiveness that people will not go to medical school, and doctors will change professions to anything but the medical field. As for the so-called successful program in Canada, here’s a story. I just biked with a local friend who grew up in Toronto. Her brother is a doctor there. He told her that his local hospital closed two floors because they are out of money. Their mother has heart issues. She actually got into a hospital and they keep the air conditioning off to keep expenses down. So, the sickly tried to stay alive in 90-100 interior temps. There a million stories like this. Don’t fool yourself. This is not where we want to be in America. The government can’t run anything – check out the “Cash for Clunkers” program. The car dealers are pulling their hair out and they cannot get paid from the government, who “promised” them money.Our country was built because people took personal responsibility. What happened to that?Lorrie B. WinnermanAspen