Saturday, March 31, 2012

Corker Says Health Care Law is Going to Drive Up Costs, Will Need to be Replaced

As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the president's health care law, Senator Corker said the law is going to drive up health care costs and will have to be replaced with "common sense" legislation that "fits these times, fits the American people, allows the freedom and choice that American people are accustomed to" and is "fiscally sound.

Senator Corker explains that regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court decision regarding Obamacare, the Senate must put in place a different piece of legislation. He explains how Obamacare mandates massive cost to the State, and how the bill will incentivize a mass exodus of people off of employer provided health care plans to government subsidized health care and will drive up the cost of health care. "There is no way that the projections that were laid out as to what the cost of this bill was going to be, are going to be what the actual cost are."

I would hope that Senator Corker and his Republican colleagues and the Republican nominee for President would come up with a specific list of proposed legislative changes that would be a plan for real health care reforms. Simply saying "no" to Obamacare is not enough. Something is terribly wrong with the way health care is provided in this county. To just say we have the best health care system in the world and to pretend the status quo is OK, is not true and is not something the American people will buy. My fear is that if we do not come up with a Republican alternative health care reform plan, cost will continue to spiral out of control, more and more people will be without insurance and in frustration the American people will accept a system even more radical than Obamacare.

I feel certain there will be movement on health care in one direction or the other. We must have health care reform, but we need reform toward more individual choice, empowerment of the individual, less government control, and a system that uses market forces to contain cost and expand coverage. The Republican proposal should be a ten-point program, or some such set of number of concrete proposals, that would actually lower cost and expand coverage. I don't know all of what should be in a plan, but these are starting points: (1) allow insurance plans to be sold across state lines, much like auto insurance is sold (2) allow reimportation of drugs from Canada and elsewhere, (3) allow individuals the same deduction for buying insurance that employers get for providing insurance, (4) tort reform, (5) incentivize medical tourism, (6) remove barriers to private sector companies such as Medibid that create a direct market for medical procedures and services, (7) require, where possible, that Medicare and Medicaid use competitive practices to purchase health care for medicare and medicaid recipients. There are other proposals, but this is a start. The Republicans need to aggressively push for replacing Obamacare, not just undoing Obamacare.

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