Billary is at it again. “HillaryCare 2.0” – socialized medicine for America – could be on its way to a hospital near you. The alternative? — apparently the Massachusetts-style insurance connector program proposed by Mitt Romney. The two programs are similar in that the government will require everyone to have health insurance (even illegal immigrants? — Uh … Billary doesn’t know yet). The key difference is that Hillary’s plan offers both a system of public insurance and private insurance (which, regardless of what she claims, means government-run health insurance as taxpayer-subsidized insurance will certainly crowd out insurance sold on the private market); in Romney’s plan, the private market will be used to provide what, in effect, is taxpayer-subsidized insurance.
Dr. Sven Larson, though, has a solution … in short, he proposes reforming the reform … reforming the Romney model so as to make the most of its dependence on the free market. In his new book, Larson proposes creating a national version of the Romney plan using the following guidelines:
1) Build a national connector that sells insurance plans from all states.
2) Create a small business pool within the connector so that small businesses can get rates similar to those available under ERISA.
3) Permit single state registration — that is, permit any plan registered in one state to be sold in all states.
4) Delay the mandatory insurance requirement for three years so that we can evaluate how well these free market reforms have worked.
5) Preserve Medicaid for the poor – instead of expanding it (for example, via NC Kids Care) to the middle class.
6) Eliminate price controls — and let the free market and competition make private coverage truly affordable.
To read more, check out Sven’s book: A Prescription for 2008. And when you finish that, make sure to pick up a copy of the Civitas Guide to Healthcare Policy that Sven and I wrote this past summer.