Sponsors of the Democrat plan seem all too willing to ignore the fact that we can’t pay for the government-funded health care programs we already have. Consider Medicare: Its trustees recently reported that the Great Society program’s funds will be depleted by 2017. That’s two years earlier than the date they projected last year – largely because of the recession that Democrats seem to keep fueling.
Add to that dire prediction the new spending of their government-run health care plan – not to mention the equally troubled Medicaid and Social Security systems. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in economics to see that our children and grandchildren will be paying for these programs for the rest of their lives.
Republicans have serious reservations about the Democratic health plan. And we have developed solutions we believe can get the job done.
In fact, we think we can contribute to meaningful change of our health care system in this decade just as we spearheaded welfare reform in the 1990s and the tax code in the 1980s. Some of our Republican proposals to change health care in America include:
• Creating opportunities for small businesses to pool their resources to offer higher quality coverage.
• Providing tax credits to help small businesses cover the administrative costs of establishing and maintaining health coverage.
• Giving incentives to states to redesign insurance laws to make health care coverage more affordable to their residents.
• Cutting regulations so insurance companies can compete for your business, which allows you to shop around for the best coverage and price that fits your needs.
• Allowing tax deductions to offset the cost of purchasing individual insurance.
• Fixing medical liability rules that make trial lawyers rich at the expense of patients and doctors.
These are just some of the many ideas my fellow Republicans and I have proposed to improve health care in the United States. You can check out more at www.gop.gov.
If this recession is going to end, Democrats need to focus on creating jobs – not killing them. The American people deserve no less.
Congressman John Kline was elected to represent Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, and was re-elected to a second term in 2004.
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