Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Improving Health Care

Here's a very interesting article by Lawrence Kudlow that was recently published in Investors Business Daily.

According to Kudlow, the day after President Obama's health care speech, the markets for private health insurers, hospitals, and drug companies all spiked dramatically--a strong indicator that the market feels that the so-called public option is dead in the water.

Why not talk about some GOP alternatives that could dramatically help the health care option?

Much of the criticism of the health care system is aimed at the free market and its alleged "failure" to bring down prices like the free market usually does.

What free market? Let's eliminate the red tape that prohibits individuals from going across state lines to find a better deal on insurance. Why not allow those already on government assistance choose their own plans, in turn reducing the cost to government (i.e. taxpayers) as well? The free market works. Critics have pointed to a steady increase in health care as a percentage of GDP, yet this is simply the market responding to increased (and future) demand in the marketplace. The market is accounting for increases in treatable diseases and demand, and is also preparing itself for the upcoming baby-boomer generation.

Let's encourage various forms of alternative care that are cheaper, proactive, and can survive in our smaller communities better than a full-blown hospital and can give quality advice on further medical care if needed.

Tort reform. The legal costs to hospitals/doctors for insurance and frivolous lawsuits are astronomical. Texas passed measures to limit malpractice suits to $250,000 or less, and malpractice insurance policy-holders are seeing rate cuts and dividends--savings that will be passed on to patients through market competition. Not only that, insurance companies are flocking to the state to take advantage of a safer malpractice atmosphere, also increasing competition.

With increased insurance competition--both through tort reform and creating interstate competition--South Dakota could become a leader in the health care industry. With our business-friendly atmosphere, insurance companies would find our state a welcome home to provide affordable insurance to the rest of the country.

Let's try some of these alternatives and see how they work, rather than completely gutting out the system.

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