NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 17, 2010

There are several ways to achieve real health care reform, says Benjamin Domenech, managing editor of Health Care News. 

Roll back the regulations: 

  • The effect of decades of red tape and regulations in adding to the costs of care can't be underestimated.
  • Real health care reform begins by undoing many of the thousands of counterproductive laws and restrictions laid on by federal and state governments. 

End the tax bias against individualized coverage: 

  • Health insurance is primarily tied to employers because of the difference in tax deductibility.
  • We must break the government-created, insurance-employer linkage and give individuals and families the ability to direct their care. 

Enact true medical malpractice reform: 

  • The president's plan throws a few million dollars at studying medical liability reform.
  • We already have a study: It's called Texas, and the positive results of its reforms are clear for all to see. 

Reduce Prices Through a National Market: 

  • Combined with tax fairness in government's treatment of individual and family coverage, the right to purchase insurance across state lines will enable insurers to compete for customers.
  • This will drive down prices. 

Embrace consumer-driven plans: 

  • Consumer-driven plans are a major step toward enabling consumers to shop and save for care.
  • This will help them exercise personal responsibility for their health. 

Ensure genuine portability of insurance: 

  • Losing health insurance should never be a concern, or drive decisions about where you work or live.
  • Insurance plans must be fully portable, regardless of where you live and whether you are employed. 

Reform Medicare and Medicaid: 

  • Medicare and Medicaid are broken, insolvent systems that saddle taxpayers with the costs of massive waste, fraud and abuse.
  • We must reform them dramatically while ensuring benefits for those who are currently in the system. 

Ensure access to affordable coverage for small businesses: 

  • Make small group health insurance collectively renewable.
  • Require pooling of each carrier's entire book of small group businesses so that no small group can be singled out for termination. 

Protect consumers through transparency: 

  • Third-party payment radically reduces transparency in health insurance.
  • The best force for ensuring contracts are honored and prices are competitive is an open, transparent marketplace. 

Source: Benjamin Domenech,"10 Ways to Real Health Care Reform," Heartland Institute, March 16, 2010.


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