REAL HEALTH CARE REFORM
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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