Skip to comments.George W. Bush found the solution to America's healthcare crisis seven years ago. Nobody listened
Posted on 02/19/2014 6:52:22 PM PST by SeekAndFind
The Congressional Budget Offices warning that the Affordable Care Act will cause employment to fall by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers is just the latest of Obamacares negative surprises. Unfortunately, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosis statement that we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it is proving to be depressingly accurate.
The laws defenders legitimately argue that it is not sufficient merely to criticize the Affordable Care Act; responsible action requires proposing an alternative. Fortunately, Republicans have a good one, and its been hiding in plain sight for the past seven years. The plan was first described in President George W. Bushs 2007 State of the Union Address, but it remains timely. This plan would remedy most of the major problems that exist in Americas health care system and cause less destruction with fewer adverse consequences than Obamacare.
There are two main problems associated with health care in the United States today. First, it is expensive. Health economists, among them Daniel Kessler at Stanford, have shown convincingly that the United States spends a larger share of its gross domestic product on health care than other countries (for example, about one-and-a-half times what Switzerland spends per capita) because of inappropriate incentives to use care efficiently.
Patients who have insurance or rely on state funds to cover their expenses bear little of the cost of any treatment received, which causes them to use health resources as if they were almost free. This means that health care is overused and the scarce resources do not always go to those who need them most. Part of this is a result of a Tax Code that subsidizes expensive plans, which have low co-payments and overly extensive coverage.
The second problem is the large number of uninsured Americans who do not have reasonable access to health care and who obtain the health care that they do receive in inefficient ways, such as using emergency rooms for minor ailments.
So what would the ideal alternative to Obamacare look like? It should provide cost-effective care and the quality treatment that Americans deserve. Effective reform should discourage over-insurance that results from the subsidy of so-called Cadillac plans that pay for basic, inexpensive and predictable procedures and have patient co-payments that are too low. Reform should encourage consumers to use Americas scarce health resources efficiently by inducing them to get tests and treatments that are justified instead of those that are selected because they are almost free to the decision-makers. Finally, reform should make health insurance available to the vast majority of Americans, some of whom cannot afford insurance without help.
The Bush 2007 plan achieves these goals. The basic structure is to offer all Americans a standard tax deduction, in 2007 set at $15,000 for families and $7,500 for individuals. The deduction would apply to payroll tax both employee and employer contribution as well as to income tax. Importantly, the size of the deduction would be independent of the amount spent on the plan. Any taxpayer who has a plan that includes catastrophic coverage gets the full deduction, irrespective of the plans cost. That is important because it creates the incentives to choose efficiently. A family that wanted to spend less on the plan than the value of the deduction would pocket the difference. A family that wanted to spend more on a plan than the value of the of the deduction would bear the additional cost out of pocket.
As a consequence, consumers would reap the full benefit of keeping the cost of their plan low, which prompts them to shop and choose effectively. If the extra coverage offered by a $10,000 plan over an $8,000 one is not worth at least $2,000 to the consumer, he will not purchase it. Under the current system, part of the cost is borne by others because the tax system does not treat employer-provided health insurance as income. As a consequence, a dollar spent by the employer or worker costs less than a dollar to that worker. The Bush plan would eliminate that distortion, replacing the non-taxed status of employer-provided health insurance with the standard deduction.
By eliminating the link to employers, health insurance becomes more like auto insurance, where the consumer has appropriate incentives to shop around. Other features of the Bush proposal include allowing the purchase of plans across state lines to enhance competition and reform of medical liability to reduce the amount of defensive medicine.
-- Edward Lazear, who served as chairman of the Presidents Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-09, is a professor at Stanford Universitys Graduate School of Business and a Hoover Institution fellow.
By 2007 most Americans had tuned GWB out, and Pelosi ran the congress GWB having lost it the prior year 2006.
What good was proposing a tax cut based plan in 2007?
I see nothing wrong with this “Plan”, other than it’s an article published at leftist Politico Magazine that makes me suspicious of their motive.
So .. why aren’t our reps in congress looking at the Bush plan ..??
I know why they’re not .. but I’d like to know what others think.
But, but, Halliburton! Bush! Iraq! WMD!
Not sure how they are relevant, but I’m sure they are to libs in this situation
Already posted from same crap site, which wants to load up my browser with so much crap I have to take a cigarrette and coffee break before I can read it.
Not the OP....
I remember that plan. The Dems would have nothing to do with it because it would leave to many choices in the hand of the consumer.
And people would be able to choose a plan that doesn’t cover everybody else’s abortions or Sandra Flukes’ birth control pills!
The K-Street lobbyists did not get any thing out of it. The Government unions didn't get any more members paying dues to push paper, and members of congress didn't have the power to insert favors into regulations in exchange for campaign contributions.
It was a perfectly sensible reform that would have saved people money and controlled costs, but because it did not benefit the Washington power structure, it never had a chance of being accepted.
We need to realize that the politicians we see on TV are just sock puppets who come and go. The real government, the real power, is the permanent DC power structure, who know where all the bodies a buried and who can make or break any politician or media potentate.
It's not Wall Street or Tri Laterals or Build 'a Burgers or whatever conspiracy group you can come up with. Those guys just pay hefty bribes to the permanent establishment.
With trillions of dollars to skim off of every year, the DC establishment calls all the shots. You either play their game, or you go home.
Got the gist of the article.
I know a fellow, right now, who uses “Assistance” like it’s free.
He is constantly at the Dr. for Gastro, Intern, Osteo, a specialist in anxiety, another who is going to do a sleep study on him and a couple other things.
He is but a few years over 40, in good health and otherwise able to work.
This jackass has the nerve get beyind testy and outright angry with people at the pharmacy, the various doctors office personel and all others within the medical community.
FOR SERVICES, SCRIPTS and MEDICAL SUPPLIES!!!!!
This moron, who takes xanax, was upset because they “changed his prescription....
It seems they weren’t able to get him approved for two 40mg pills of Prilosec per day and he was pissed.
They were able to get him approved for (4) 20mg pills per day!,
And he was going off on the doctors office and the pharmacy demanding to know; “Who changed his script and to change it back!!!!”
What an effing A-hole.
After he got off the phone I just broke up laughing and explained he was still getting the dose he “needed” just in more pills. Which are free!
He retorted back “Well, the givernment is paying someone”
“Uh, huh” I responded “ The givernment takes money out of my checks and gives it to you”.
He was really upset “That’s my assistance! They have to help me and execute my wishes. I am in charge of my healthcare”.
It never got better from there
What World War II taught us: Fascist law stops working when the law enforcers are sent back home in body bags.
Well, that’s telling it like it is - straight up.
GW Bush and the republicans had an opportunity to tweak the healtcare insurance situation and take it away from democrats as an issue back when they had the presidency and a majority in both houses of congress.
But instead they did nothing when they were in the majority except stuff their pockets with pork and let the democrats run the senate.
If republicans had taken care of the people’s business back then instead of taking care of themselves and their cronies, it is doubtful Obama would ever have been elected and we never would have had Obamacare shoved down our throats.
Precisely. The Dems consider the American people too stupid to choose which health care plan best fits their family's needs. The Dems think every plan should be larded up with goodies, which only increases the price to the family and the costs to everyone else. If folks don't want it, too bad, the Dems know what's best, so just shut up!
I also remember watching a clip of GWB who was frantically trying to get Congress to open their eyes to Fannie Mae - saying that housing was going to burst. They turned a deaf ear to him. Thanks to our lib-loving MSM and the boneheads who believe what they see and hear on these channels.
This isn’t even an original idea. The medical savings account was initially proposed as a way for people to use pre tax dollars in any manner they wanted for their own medical care (including buying insurance). Then the legislative process turned it into a wimpy little shadow of itself.
Congress always takes the worst possible solution as a course of action
That would have lowered taxes. Democrats want no part of that.
And, the Dims wouldn’t be able to run millions/billions through their DNC slush fund channels....under the Bush plan.
Neither one of these problems, according to the author, is the LOSS OF LIBERTY associated with Obamacare.
same reason they didn’t want to set up private accounts for SS for the young - like it works in Chile and Australia. Power by the politicians happens with big government - big spending too.
So what’s better? A tax deduction plan like this or a tax credit plan like the one Coburn is sponsoring?