The 2000-plus-page ObamaCare legislation would of course obliterate any remnants of free-market medicine that still exists in this country, and in so doing it would not lower the cost of medicine, nor would it improve medical quality, nor would it ultimately insure more people, as the democrats themselves admit. The reason American medicine is so expensive in the first place is because of the massive bureaucratic apparatus that has gripped the American medical industry — an apparatus that was initially put in place in the mid-1930′s, under FDR and his horrific tax discrimination laws (which created employer-sponsored healthcare), and then expanded drastically in the 1960′s under LBJ.
The obvious question, then, is this: if government intervention created the problem, how is more government intervention going to help?
Answer: it’s not.
In fact, it’s going to compound the problem astronomically.
The following, however, which comes to us via Richard E. Ralston, Executive Director of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, would help solve the problem, and it would do so without the unconstitutional coercive measures ObamaCare explicitly endorses.
Seven Simple Rules for Health Care Reform
The first simple rule: Make all medical services, insurance and personal savings for such expenses exempt from all federal, state and local income and payroll taxes. Those who complain about the cost of medical care and insurance must be confronted with the fact that if we cannot afford medical care, we surely cannot afford to pay taxes on the money we set aside for it.
The second simple rule: Allow an individual or corporate tax deduction equal to double the value of the service for all charity care by medical care providers. At one time America had a vigorous network of private charity care, which was largely destroyed by the government barging in. We need to restore that environment of private charity, which was more efficient, effective and compassionate.
The third simple rule: Pass legislation now proposed in the U.S. Congress that would give every individual or business the ability to purchase insurance in a national market, from insurance companies in any state. That would allow for ownership of health insurance that is more affordable and can follow individuals from job to job and state to state. The increased competition between insurance companies would restrain the cost of insurance.
The fourth simple rule: Allow the purchase of basic health insurance with high deductibles and low premiums that covers major illness or injury and annual exams, in conjunction with tax-free accounts for out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles. That, more than anything, would make insurance premiums more affordable for Americans who fear the financial consequences of health misfortune.
The fifth simple rule: Broaden the availability of optional coverage provided by Medicare Advantage, but allow for additional tax-deductible premiums to be paid by those seniors who elect such options. More choices from more options should be available to retirees—but not paid for by taxpayers. This would allow for expanded and more efficient coverage, and reintroduce an element of competition to those who seek to provide health care to seniors.
The sixth simple rule: Allow Medicare patients to utilize their Health Savings Accounts to pay for services from their Medicare physicians. This could bring thousands of doctors back into the Medicare program overnight and eliminate the ridiculous and unjust prohibition on those who want to spend their own money on their medical care.
The seventh simple rule: Limit non-economic or punitive damages in all malpractice or other litigation against medical providers or drug and medical equipment firms to a maximum of $250,000 (indexed for inflation). This would wring the bonanza for a few law firms out of the current ocean of litigation—and the high cost of “defensive medicine” now practiced by providers as protection against such legal extortion. The effect would be a reduction in the cost of medical care and insurance for everyone.
For more on the atrocity exhibition of cradle-to-grave healthcare, please read Dr. Yuri N. Maltsev’s account of socialized medicine in Russia. Dr. Maltsev was for many years an economist for Mikhail Gorbachev’s economic reform team. He now teaches economics at Carthage College, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Read also medical doctor Paul Hsieh’s limpid explanation of how ObamaCare will prevent good doctors like him from upholding their Hippocratic Oath.