Most of the new Members of Congress ran on a promise to repeal ObamaCare (or at least to defund it). Even if Congress accomplishes this, that will be just the end of the beginning. We need much, much more to repair the damage of two years of leftwing legislation and executive orders.
Republicans have many good ideas for reforming health care. One good idea is to allow us to buy health insurance from other states. This would be especially helpful if you live in a state that has mandated that all health insurance must cover expensive procedures you don't want or don't approve of, such as sex change operations. A second good idea would be to require tort reform.
A third good idea, which I think would be the most helpful reform, would be to encourage the use of pre-tax or tax-deductible individual health savings accounts so that individuals can pay the smaller expenses of routine care, which we know cannot be economically delivered by a third-party payer. Individuals should have the same opportunity to take tax deductions for health insurance that businesses now have. Meanwhile, employee group health insurance should phase in higher-deductible plans, and thus steer the health insurance market toward coverage of “catastrophic” health problems instead of routine care.
One of the major problems and costs of health insurance is the unfortunate link between jobs and health insurance. You can't afford to change your job because it means losing your health insurance. That policy was adopted as a tax loophole after World War II, and now it traps millions of Americans into a tough compromise between an unproductive job and unsuitable high-cost health insurance. Health care reform will be a big challenge for the new Congress, but it absolutely must tackle it.
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