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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