There are four key steps to moving toward patient-centered, market-based health care reform.
- Make tax policy fair and rational. Congress should replace the current tax treatment of health insurance with a credit that is individually based.
- Start health care entitlement reform. As a first step, Congress could easily allow individuals facing retirement to keep their private health insurance into retirement and receive a defined contribution from the Medicare program.
- Promote choice and competition through insurance market reforms. Congress should focus on removing market barriers to interstate purchase of health insurance, addressing access issues for the hard-to-insure and making pooling arrangements more effective.
- State-based reforms. State policymakers should begin by assessing their own health insurance challenges related to insurance markets and their Medicaid programs.
CMA Vice President for Government Relations Jonathan Imbody:
"My friend Nina Owcharenko outlines sensible innovations that promise the potential to begin to bend the curve of health care costs and shift decision-making back toward patients and physicians. Hopefully having learned its lessons from ramming through a massive health care law that only one party and less than half the country supported, Congress should come together to craft a pragmatic and measured approach to health care reform that doesn't involve taking over the world.
"Assuming the Court declares "Obamacare" unconstitutional, cooler heads in Congress can focus on those reforms most likely to garner enough bipartisan agreement for passage. Start by ramping up tracking and enforcement programs to cut Medicare fraud and waste. Provide compassionate, fiscally sustainable safety nets for the most needy, such as indigent patients and those caught in health care crises not covered by insurance. Tamp down costs by increasing competition and allowing patients to purchase insurance plans beyond state borders, as with car insurance. Stanch the hemorrhage of doctors from medicine by reasonably reforming malpractice lawsuits, slashing paperwork and bureaucratic meddling, and clarifying First Amendment conscience protections for health care professionals.
"The jacobinic health care revolution has failed. It is time now to reform health care democratically with careful, considerate compromise on the pragmatic principles that most Americans support."
CMDA Healthcare Reform Resource Pages