Do you remember when President Barack Obama said that if someone came up with a serious proposal to better the health care system in America, his door was open?
Well, ignoring for a moment that he said it during the same speech in which he lied about abortion, the cost of his plan, covering illegal aliens and more (including the implication that no one had come up with other ideas), I wonder if Obama is willing to talk with Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) about his Empower Patients First Act.
Instead of taking us farther down the road of socialist oblivion, it actually moves back in the right direction of freedom and free market approaches.
The Foundry, the Heritage Foundation’s blog, outlines some of the key points of Price’s plan:
- Fix the unfairness in the tax treatment of health insurance by extending a tax credit or deduction to those without employer-sponsored insurance;
- Use automatic enrollment, with a right to “opt out” of health insurance coverage, and promote defined-contributions for employer plans, instead of using government coercion and mandates, to expand coverage;
- Establish health plan portals in the states so that patients can own and control their own health insurance;
- Offer low-income Americans the option of a voucher to purchase private coverage; and
- Give states incentives to experiment with how best to cover high cost individuals.
I’m not sure I’m very keen on the automatic enrollment portion, but with the right to opt out, it might be acceptable.
Moving to end the unnecessary marriage of insurance to employers is a big step in the right direction, though, as is increasing consumer control over their own plans and options.
No one really believes we don’t need significant change to our health care system. But most of what’s wrong with it has to do with too much government meddling already. We need to turn tail and move quickly back toward a free market model that increases competition (not fake “competition” involving the government “competing” the private sector out of business), increases consumer involvement in their own plans, and maximizes freedom.