NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 20, 2007

Government can help poorer and older Americans get quality health care without sacrificing what everyone wants -- the ability to choose their own doctor and health coverage that meets their family's particular needs, says Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush.

Some of the reforms government should consider include:

  • Level the tax playing field; many small business employees, farmers and the self-employed are unable to benefit from the same tax advantage as larger companies, because they or their employers can't afford health insurance.
  • Promote tax-free savings accounts (such as HSA's), paired with low-cost catastrophic health insurance, which make coverage affordable for working families.
  • Increase portability; too many people are locked into jobs they don't like out of fear they'll lose health coverage; people should be able to take their health insurance with them when they change jobs.


  • Allow small businesses to join together to pool risk; it would mean more competition and lower costs, and more people able to afford coverage.
  • Increase transparency by putting information about cost and quality in the hands of patients, which will lower the cost and improve the quality of health care.
  • Put an end to junk lawsuits which cause communities to lose talented health-care professionals who simply can't afford the bigger liability premiums caused by frivolous lawsuits.

In short, the best health reform proposals will be those that recognize and build on the virtues of our market-based medical system, says Rove.  Sick people around the world come here because they can't get quality care in their home countries.  Many health-care professionals come here to practice, leaving behind well-meaning health-care systems where government is in charge, bureaucrats make the decisions, and where the patient doesn't have the choice he or she does in the United States.

Source: Karl Rove, "Republicans Can Win on Health Care," Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2007.

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