Emmett Tyrrell

An additional twist to this might be to allow people with HSAs to pay for their health care expenses by drawing down from a health care debit card. This would be particularly desirable if health care were administered through a patient's local hospital. Administering health care payments through hospitals is an innovation recently suggested by Hunt Lawrence, a New York investor and successful entrepreneur who has reviewed the American health care system and believes hospitals could compete successfully with insurers while offering a broader range of services. With his admittedly ambitious reform, hospitals could monitor a patient's bills and health conditions simultaneously. Furthermore, the hospital could neatly maintain the patient's health records, which would be portable for the patient in the event of his moving from one locale to another. Of course, patients would be free to change hospitals, thus introducing competition among hospitals.

Also, let us have tort reform. Reckless malpractice lawsuits account for at least a half-trillion dollars in wasted health care expenses annually, through jackpot lawsuits and the unnecessary tests prescribed by doctors fearful of the reach of trial lawyers.

Finally, for those who are impoverished and unable to pay for health care, let the government give them vouchers to pay for their medical expenses up to a certain amount annually.

Whatever the consequences of the Democrats' 2009 health care monstrosity, conservatives should redouble their efforts to repeal its archaic collectivist requirements, if they ever become policy. Notwithstanding their promises to lower health care costs, the collectivists are going to increase those costs by a huge amount while reverting to government rationing and control of doctor-patient relations.

So here are some modest proposals that I have gathered up from thoughtful work that has been done in conservative think tanks and by conservative reformers. An omnium-gatherum of such domestic reforms can be found in Rep. Paul D. Ryan's "A Roadmap for America's Future," which is available on the Wisconsin Republican's Web site. As conservatives mount their challenge to the Democratic reactionaries' revived Great Society, replete with huge deficits and Stagflation II, I prescribe Ryan's map. Conservatives do have an alternative to economic ruin.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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