Competition in Health Care, Not More of the Same
About 11 percent of Missourians are without health insurance, according to the numbers from Families USA. To combat this and other problems in health care, Rep. Roy Blunt and some of his congressional colleagues have proposed their own health care plan (link via Combest) as a cheaper and more effective alternative to the one being proposed by the presidential administration.
Blunt’s proposed plan (details are available on his website) seeks to limit government involvement in health care and instead extend control to patients and doctors. The crux of the plan is to create health savings accounts (HSAs), an issue that the Show-Me Institute has delved into previously. These allow employees and employers to save money to use for future health care expenses, at pre-tax rates. Tax credits and HSAs allow people to keep their health insurance intact, regardless of employment status — a factor that is especially important during our current transient job market. The plan seeks to bring down medical costs through market competition, as well as to institute reforms of malpractice law, which can drive up health care prices unnecessarily.
The president’s plan aims to do the opposite, by creating a large government insurance plan to “compete” with private insurance. Government “competition” in the private market is not the solution, as we have witnessed with Medicaid and Medicare — these plans are guaranteed to receive the lowest rates, but they still drain money. An effective plan would instead actually seek to address the issues facing the health care industry by encouraging market competition and efficiency, rather than just creating Medicaid part II.