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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dr. Arthur Laffer Offers Alternatives in Health Care Reform

Dr. Arthur Laffer has some good, common sense suggestions for health care reform, as presented in his report to the Texas Public Policy Foundation recently. Common sense solutions to our nation's problems are sorely needed, in all areas of policy.

While President Obama continues to criticize those opposed to his government takeover to our health care system - 1/6 of our economy - by claiming those critical are not providing other ideas, only being naysayers for political reasons, maybe he should fulfill his campaign pledge to be inclusive of all and listen to others. By attempting to remain above the fray of the actual legislative process, Obama has allowed the far left in the House, once again, to produce his agenda.

Here are some ideas from Dr. Laffer for patient-centered health care reform :
** Individual ownership of insurance policies. Instead of employers receiving tax deductions for your insurance policy, it should be given to you.

** Leverage Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). By empowering individuals to oversee their own health care costs, incentives can be provided so that only services necessary are used.

** Interstate purchasing of insurance. This allows competition of pricing of policies, no matter which state companies are located.

** Reduce the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. Insurance needs are not one size fits all. Allow consumers to choose the benefits that will be most effective for their own needs.

** Reallocate the majority of Medicaid spending into simple voucher for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. Using a sliding scale, based on income, would cut bureaucracy and produce considerable cost savings.

** Eliminate unnecessary scope-of-practice laws and allow non-physician health care professionals practice to the extent of their education and training. This simple idea allows retail clinics to increase the pool of providers, which increases competition and access to care while allowing the patient to decide which caregiver to use.

** Reform tort liability laws. Medical costs can be brought down if doctors are not performing defensive medicine.

All of these alternatives allow more individual control of health care for the patient. Isn't this what everyone wants - to make their own decisions and receive the benefits needed for their own specific needs? The massive government takeover that is the ultimate outcome of the Obama administration will only allow government bureaucrats to step in and make decisions of which they are not qualified. There will be an elimination of personal care and the doctor-patient relationship.

We can do better.

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