Brock Details His Vision For Health Care
09/07/12 5:50PM By Bob Kinzel
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GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock has unveiled his plan to provide universal access to health care in Vermont.
Brock says creating more competition in the private insurance market place is the best way to control health care expenses.
There are stark differences between Brock's vision for health care and the vision proposed by incumbent Democrat Peter Shumlin.
Shumlin wants Vermont to adopt a single payer system as quickly as possible but certainly no later than 2017.
Brock says his plan is designed to bring more insurance companies into the state to create greater competition.
"The governor's vision is one in which government is in control, it sets all the rules, it's a one size fits all vision," said Brock. "Mine is a vision in which patients are in control, which individual consumers are in control and they decide the insurance coverage that's best for them and for their families."
Brock wants to make significant changes to Vermont's community rating system to encourage more private health insurance companies to offer coverage in the state.
Under community rating, insurance companies are not allowed to charge higher premiums based on a person's age. Brock says this needs to change and he acknowledges that while his plan will lower premiums for young people, it will increase premiums for older consumers. He says he would create a special risk pool for those people hit hardest by this change.
"One of our major problems in health care in Vermont is that it is unaffordable to the very young person who's just started out in the workplace and as a result they're among the more significant portion of that group that doesn't have health care," said Brock.
"We've priced them out of the market in their beginning earning years but it's also the years that they are low consumers of health care and they are at their healthiest."
Brock favors high deductible, health savings accounts because he says they encourage consumers to make better decisions about their health care.
"The vast majority of medical care that we receive is neither catastrophic nor is it urgent and particularly in some of the high cost procedures the orthopedic surgery the knee replacements the hip replacements the prices do vary quite considerably depending up where things are done and how they're done and who does them," said Brock. "And having price transparency so that consumers particularly if they have a stake in the result can make that decision themselves."
Brock backs efforts to reform the state's medical malpractice laws and he also thinks the concept of "medical tourism" deserves more attention.
Under this approach, health care providers and the state's tourist industry would offer a package deal to encourage people from out of state to have serious medical procedures done in Vermont. Following the operation, the person would recuperate in one of the state's tourist communities.