NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bush Health Plan Embraces Innovation and Patient-Centered Care

October 29, 2015

Governor Jeb Bush's health-reform proposal demonstrates strong leadership, says senior fellow John R. Graham of the National Center for Policy Analysis.  His health reform plan leads with a non-Obamacare issue:  comprehensive reform of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Currently, the FDA is a regulatory mess: it can cost $1.2 billion to $2.6 billion and take 12 to 15 years to advance a medicine from discovery to patients. FDA reform would also lower prices of existing drugs.  By contrast, federal government regulation of drugmakers' prices would produce an immediate drought of new capital for medical research.

Bush's plan would also:

  • Enourage investors to put their capital at risk to develop new medicines.     
  • Recognize the need for an entirely new approach to regulating medical devices, too.
  • Recognize that pre-Obamacare benefits are outdated and that we need to revisit how we get coverage.
  • Allow small businesses the option of making tax-free contributions to health coverage for their employees.
  • Offer a tax credit for those without employer-based coverage.

Unlike Obamacare, which imposes high effective marginal income tax rates on their beneficiaries, Bush's plan introduces tax fairness in health insurance because the credit would be based on the average tax benefit enjoyed by those who currently get coverage through their jobs.

Additionally, Bush's plan would allow patients to control more health dollars directly through tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts, which federal tax credits, states, and businesses can supplement.

Source: John R. Graham, "Bush health plan embraces innovation and patient-centered care," The Hill, October 19, 2015.


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