PUTTING CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES TO WORK IN HEALTH CARE
August 22, 2007
Of all the presidential candidates, only one has waded into the health care issue and emerged with a successful plan that does not resort to one-size-fits-all, government-run "Hillary Care." That innovative candidate is former Gov. Mitt Romney, says former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.).
Romney's health care plan:
- Deregulated the overburdened Massachusetts insurance market to reduce the cost of private insurance, while giving consumers more choice from a broader range of plans.
- Addressed the problems caused by the fact that many people could not get healthcare through their employers and could not afford it on the individual market.
- Redirected the millions of dollars that were being spent on free emergency room care and used it instead to help those who truly were not able to afford private health insurance.
- Created a new market where consumers can go to pick the health care plan that suits them best.
Although the reforms were signed into law just over a year ago, the changes are dramatic:
- An uninsured individual whose choice was formerly limited to a policy with a $335 a month insurance premium with no drug benefits can purchase quality private insurance for $175 per month.
- Between July 1, 2006, and May 1, 2007, nearly 125,000 previously uninsured residents of Massachusetts got health insurance coverage.
- Taxpayer-funded "free care" is falling at double-digit rates, because the Romney reforms no longer allow people to let others pay for their health care if they can afford their own health insurance.
Further, those who previously couldn't afford health insurance now have the help they need to get access to affordable, quality, portable private coverage. And, as he promised, Romney did all this without raising taxes and without a government take-over of health care.
Source: Jim Talent, "Mitt Romney: Putting Conservative Principles to Work in Health Care," Townhall.com, August 22, 2007.
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