Ten GOP Health Ideas for Obama – The Wall Street Journal

We don't need to study lawsuit reform for one minute longer.


by John C. Goodman & Newt Gingrich

Source: The Wall Street Journal

"If you have a better idea, show it to me." That was President Barack Obama's challenge two weeks ago to House Republicans regarding health-care reform. He has since called for a bipartisan forum, not to start over on health reform but to "move forward" on the "best ideas that are out there."

The best ideas out there are not those that were passed by the House and Senate last year, which consist of more spending, more regulations and more bureaucracy. If the president is serious about building a system that delivers more quality choices at lower cost for every American, here's where he should start:

  • Make insurance affordable. The current taxation of health insurance is arbitrary and unfair, giving lavish subsidies to some, like those who get Cadillac coverage from their employers, and almost no relief to people who have to buy their own. More equitable tax treatment would lower costs for individuals and families. Many health economists conclude that tax relief for health insurance should be a fixed-dollar amount, independent of the amount of insurance purchased. A step in the right direction would be to give Americans the choice of a generous tax credit or the ability to deduct the value of their health insurance up to a certain amount.
  • Make health insurance portable. The first step toward genuine portability-and the best way of solving the problems of pre-existing conditions-is to change federal policy. Employers should be encouraged to provide employees with insurance that travels with them from job to job and in and out of the labor market. Also, individuals should have the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines. When insurers compete for consumers, prices will fall and quality will improve.

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