FIVE HEALTH CARE REFORM SOLUTIONS THAT MAKE SENSE
January 22, 2010
Massachusetts, the bluest of states in our union, stunned the nation on Tuesday when it voted to end Washington's unbridled spending and plan for government-run health care. Americans still want health care reform, but they are looking for clear, patient-centered, fiscally responsible solutions. There's a way to make this work, says Dr. C.L. Gray, president of Physicians for Reform.
Sell insurance across state lines:
- State mandates drive up costs; health insurance for a 25-year-old male in New Jersey costs nearly six times what it does in Kentucky, largely because of state mandates.
- Allowing businesses to purchase insurance across state lines empowers consumers, not Washington, and does not cost a dime.
Let individuals purchase health insurance with pre-tax dollars:
- Insurance companies serve businesses, not patients; businesses purchase employee health insurance with pre-tax dollars while individuals purchase insurance with post-tax dollars making their insurance far more expensive.
- This reform lets patients buy products that meet their needs and makes insurers more accountable to patients.
Encourage Health Care Savings Accounts (HSAs):
- HSAs reduce health care costs without rationing (cutting Medicare); they also let patients control their own money, decreasing health care spending by 13 percent.
- During 2005 and 2006, traditional insurance rose 7.3 percent annually while lower cost / higher deductable plans combined with HSAs rose only 2.7 percent annually.
End abusive medical litigation:
- Frivolous litigation drives physicians out of medicine; bringing tens of millions of new patients into the system requires more physicians, not fewer.
- Frivolous litigation reform lowers cost and improves access to care; Americans spend approximately $124 billion every year because physicians practice defensive medicine.
Cover the uninsured:
- We can insure the uninsured without expanding American debt; approximately 25 percent of patients who visit the emergency rooms do not have health care coverage.
- A system of tax credits can help the uninsured purchase coverage; this would cost approximately $80 billion annually.
Source: Dr. C.L. Gray, "Five Health Care Reform Solutions That Make Sense," Fox News, January 21, 2010.
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