Our health-care system is a relic of World War II, when we shifted a good portion of health-care provisions to employers. By allowing business to provide health care to their employees and deduct this as a business expense, we institutionalized and took the human face off this most human and personal of human needs. Who knows today for what and how much they pay when they go to the doctor? Health costs are out of control because of a faceless and bureaucratic system.
A positive move was the passage in this Congress of health savings accounts that open the door to allowing individuals to manage and deduct the costs of their own health care. I think an appropriate companion move should be total removal of health-care deductibility from employers. This will open a dynamic market of creative health-care products aimed at individuals in all walks of life.
Public education is an idea that goes back to the early days of the nation. However, it has become a misguided ideal. As with the Social Security system, the country is a far different place today from when the public-education system was established. We are far more diverse in our values and our sense of what it means to be educated. The government-mandated extraction of traditional values and prayer from public schools is simple tyranny. The only answer is school choice. School choice touches the spirit of America and will revitalize education in our country.
This sea change of reform is vital for our future. It is particularly vital for our nation's poor, who bear the brunt of the problems of our broken retirement, health-care and education systems.
Almost 60 percent of eligible Americans turned out to vote in this election, the largest turnout since 1968. I think our citizens were driven to the polls, in some instances waiting hours in line to vote, to make their voices heard at a time they sensed as historic. Bush received a vote of confidence for the vision he has put forth for moving our nation into a new era. We should all work to help move America back to a model of values, individual responsibility and choice.