Focus Point - Health Reform

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

I hope you'll pardon a bit of crowing today. The best health care bill in congress this session -- and a bipartisan one at that -- looks really smart...and it should, because it's pretty much ours.

Senators Jeffords, Breaux and Frist and House Majority Leader Armey have proposed a plan to provide tax credits for the purchase of health insurance. The key to the legislation is a fixed-sum, refundable tax credit for people who buy their own insurance -- a plan long advocated by the NCPA. If it passes, it will shift power towards patients and away from impersonal, clumsy, unresponsive bureaucracies.

It's an idea first proposed about ten years ago, by NCPA President John Goodman and Senior Fellow Gerald Musgrave in the book Patient Power. They were the first to see that health reform is tax reform, and that tools like Medical Savings Accounts and more patient choice can make the health care system stronger and improve service. Now, Congress has a chance to get it right.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Patrick O'Brian.