Monday, December 04, 2006

Healthcare, Health Insurance for Small Business, and Social Security Tax Are Part of Crowell's Game Plan

From a Southeast Missourian article here's what Jason Crowel is planning to tackle next year:

Tops on Crowell's agenda is the I-Care Missouri health-care plan. The plan seeks to create individualized access to health care and allow people to be treated by a primary-care physician rather than emergency room doctors.

"Far too many of our population have a better relationship with their auto mechanic than they do with their physician," Crowell said.

The plan would allow small businesses to band together and form alliances for the sole purpose of buying health care. It would also, Crowell said, create a system that travels with the individual instead of depending on the employer.

"Every Missourian gets a primary-care physician. If you ask doctors if they could wave a magic wand what one thing could result in the biggest benefit to the state's health, it would be that," Crowell said. "It's the difference, for example, between treating diabetes with a nutrition diet as opposed to a hypoglycemic diet later on."

Crowell would also like to stop taxing Social Security benefits.

"Missouri is one of only 15 states in the U.S. that puts in place a state income tax on Social Security benefits," he said.

"Depending on the numbers, if we were to eliminate state income on Social Security benefits it would mean 80 to 100 million more dollars in the hands of retired seniors."

It's hard to comment on this without more information. I certainly like the idea of letting small businesses band together for health insurance. And doing away with a social security tax seems fair, too. I've always thought it curious that anyone receiving money from the government, whether it be through employment or benefits, should pay taxes. If the govt needs that money they could simply pay less and cut out a lot of bureaucracy.

I wonder, though, about the "individualized access to health-care." As with so many health care issues, the devil's in the details. How does he plan to implement this? How much annoying oversight will this subject the Doctors to? Are health care costs going to rise as compliance forces the doctors offices to hire more staff to keep up? This will be something to watch.

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