Speaker Nancy Pelosi said one correct thing: health care legislation is our "opportunity, not of a lifetime, but of the century." Passage of the bill she supports would put us forever on the road to trillions of dollars in debt, bankruptcy and European mistakes; defeat of the bill will safeguard the unique American recipe for liberty and prosperity.
Pelosi and her friends would give more control to patients over their medical care IF the liberals really wanted to improve quality and reduce cost. Instead, they are trying to push our nation in the opposite direction, taking away control from patients over access and choices for medical care.
We should eliminate the roadblocks that are built into current law to restrict our use of health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible insurance (such as $2,500). Pre-tax money put into HSAs by the individual and by the employer can be used for costs not covered and, if not spent, can be saved and grow as a savings account for the individual.
This puts the individual in charge of spending for health-care costs up to the deductible limit when insurance coverage kicks in. This assures that the first $2,500 will be spent more carefully and thereby promote competition and lower costs.
We should give individually owned health insurance the same tax deduction that has been enjoyed for decades by employer-provided health insurance. This is a matter of fairness; where are the equal-protection litigators when we need them?
The Democrats are toying with going in the opposite direction: eliminating the tax deduction for employer-based plans. That translates into a big tax increase for the middle class.
We should repeal all state laws that forbid insurance companies to compete across state lines, so that individuals can buy health insurance in states other than their own. Where are the free-trade devotees when we need them?
We should repeal all government mandates on benefits that health insurance is required to cover so individuals can choose the insurance package that fits their needs. These last two changes would be the best way to establish real insurance company competition.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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