Sen. Clinton’s new health reform plan incorporates many of the ideas being explored by the states today, and like the plan Mrs. Clinton offered 14 years ago, it still involves a heavy dose of government control.
She would achieve universal health coverage by requiring everyone in America to have health insurance, and she would require businesses to pay a significant share of the costs. This “individual mandate” inevitably means that government would decide what kind of health insurance we must have, what must be covered, and what penalties we will face if we don’t comply.
I am pleased to see that she would offer tax credits as a way of helping those at the lower end of the income scale afford coverage and that she would encourage prevention and better management of those with chronic illnesses. But the plan provides countless opportunities for government micro-management of the health sector with huge new bureaucracies to run it and new taxes on individuals and businesses to pay for it. Further, her plan would regulate health insurers until they become little more than government-managed utilities, quashing competition and innovation.
Instead, the United States could be a leader in developing health insurance that is better suited to a mobile 21st century workforce and to meeting the demands of information-savvy consumers. Changes in tax law would allow health insurance to be portable and more affordable. Allowing greater, not less, competition in the health insurance industry would lead to more affordable premiums. And giving consumers a greater incentive to shop for value would put power in the hands of doctors and patients, not all-knowing government bureaucracies. Market oriented reforms, coupled with assistance for those at the lower-end of the economic scale, would be a far better solution.