The CATO Institute remains a primary resource for ideas that will work in reforming health insurance. It recommends four steps Congress could take and the public should demand. (1) give Medicare enrollees a voucher and let them choose any health plan on the market that fits their needs, not what the government dictates. Vouchers would be means-tested, would include Medicare spending and are, says CATO, the only way to protect seniors from rationing. (2) Congress should reform the tax treatment by allowing large health savings accounts. This would reduce the number of uninsured Americans, would free workers to buy secure health coverage from any source, and would effectively give workers a $9.7 trillion tax cut without increasing the deficit; (3) Congress should breakup state monopolies on insurance and clinician licensing. CATO estimates allowing people to buy insurance from other states could cover one-third of the uninsured without new taxes or government subsidies.
(4) Congress should reform Medicaid and the State Children's health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) the way it reformed it in 1996 when it block-granted the programs. This would help reduce the deficit and encourage states to target resources to those most in need.
These free market ideas and others like them are a rebuke to the lie by some liberal Democrats that Republicans and conservatives have presented no plan of their own for health insurance reform. They have, but those holding power don't want to hear them. That's because they have their own agenda. The only way they can be stopped is by a public outcry and uprising. Not only our health, but also our lives depend on stopping them.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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