He say’s he’ll consider a run for governor, but right now Congressman Ron Kind wants to focus on health care reform. While President Obama may be backing off on the concept of a ‘public option,’ Kind – who supports establishment of a national exchange, allowing farmers, small business and individuals to shop for affordable plans – says he’s not so sure all of the public is willing to see it taken off the table.
“I’ve encountered this at my forums, there are a lot of people who would at least like the choice of having a public option as part of the exchange, so that they’re not forced to only have to shop with private insurance companies that are profit driven,” says Kind.
The LaCrosse Democrat says reform should include complete transparency, and has to include a change in how we pay for health care. “Right now it’s based on the volume of care give, this fee for service, so it’s based on tests, imaging, hospital space, regardless of whether it helps the patient or not,” says Kind, who advocates changing to a quality or value-based system.
“We’re wasting close to $680 billion every year on care, and treatment and tests that don’t help the patient, and in many instances are making them worse off,” he says. “If we can capture a fraction of that $680 billion that’s being wasted, that would go a long way to reducing the costs for everyone.”
Kind, who faces a challenge for his House seat from Republican state Senator Dan Kapanke, is continuing to hold health care forums in his district. “Because I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of misinformation out there, in regards to what’s contained in the health care reform proposals,” says Kind. “I didn’t support the bill when it came out of my committee earlier this year, because I thought there was more opportunity for reform.”
“Maybe it’s just Wisconsin civility or whatever, but I think the forums I’ve been having have been very constructive,” Kind says. “People have come out, asking legitimate questions, raising ideas, expressing some concerns, but all in a civil manner.”