Conservatives Unite Around Health Reform Ideas

Barb Wire

By Grace-Marie Turner

Conservative political leaders and free-market policy analysts painted a picture of what true market-based health reform would look like if consumers had more control over choices in a truly competitive market during a conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on February 27.

The conference on “Fresh ideas and a new vision for health reform” was co-sponsored by 11 market-oriented think tanks to describe the vision, policy, and politics of free-market health reform.

The first panel featured a discussion, moderated by former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, with leading members of Congress who have introduced major health reform legislation.

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While reform proposals offered by these Republican leaders differ, they all start with repealing ObamaCare and share many common themes of reform: allowing people freedom to choose the insurance policies they want, help for people with modest incomes in purchasing coverage, a strong safety net, allowing portability of health insurance, and competition rather than government edicts to create more choices of more affordable insurance. Most importantly, all are organized around market-based reform principles.

Some key quotes from the Vision session:

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC): At the end of the day, we all agree that the ACA has to be repealed to move forward, and we all agree that our objective is to create competitive markets and drive down healthcare costs for all Americans.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA): One of the basic tenants that we all agree upon is that patients and doctors should be the ones that make healthcare decisions…Doing things like allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines — basic common sense reforms — implementing basic medical liability…allowing people to have increased health savings accounts, having equalized tax treatment [of health insurance]. These are all areas where we have strong agreement.

Read more: Forbes

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