The 112th Congress should:
- offer a simplified set of flexible medical savings account options to all Americans;
- provide a fixed-dollar tax credit option to taxpayers who purchase health insurance;
- expand consumer choices that increase market-based accountability by health plans, instead of enacting a patients’ bill of rights;
- fundamentally restructure Medicare to expand competitive private health plan choices.
not add comprehensive prescription drug benefits to Medicare unless and until it enacts structural reform of the entire program;
encourage states to adjust Medicaid eligibility criteria and covered benefits to serve fewer nondisabled, lower-income individuals—but then provide remaining beneficiaries with higher-quality core health services and make greater use of cost-sharing incentives;
facilitate state efforts to adapt defined-contribution-style financing as an option for Medicaid beneficiaries;
offer a simplified set of flexible medical savings account options to all Americans;
provide a tax credit option for taxpayers who choose to purchase health insurance that is not sponsored by their employers;
expand consumer choices that increase market-based accountability of health plans; and
improve access to health care through incentives to purchase less-comprehensive insurance, expand high-risk pool coverage, finance charitable safety net care, and deregulate state insurance regulation.
Would it be extravagant for a political candidate to promise a healthcare system in which:
- low-cost health insurance is available to virtually everyone -- including people with existing medical problems;
- doctors have the time to understand your problems and know you personally -- and even make house calls;
- a hospital stay costs only a few days' pay, rather than many months of your income;
- charity hospitals are available to take care of families that can't afford the low-cost hospitals; and
- free clinics take care of the everyday medical problems of people too poor to afford regular doctors.
This is exactly the healthcare system we had in America until the mid-1960s. It was then that the federal government moved in -- with Medicare, Medicaid, the HMO Act, and tens of thousands of regulations on doctors, hospitals, and health-insurance companies. That's when health care started going downhill.
Why not real health-care reform?
next: Social Security