Apparently, it doesn’t take 1990 pages to write legislation that actually does something for US, instead of just expanding government and rewarding special interests!
H.R. 1495, the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act of 2009 (12 pages long)
H.R. 1498, the Freedom from Unnecessary Litigation Act (2 pages long)
Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman from Texas, whom nobody ever confused with a me-too Republican, has proposed a health care reform that deserves the name “reform.”
It’s almost certain not to get anywhere, though. Which might be a mercy. Americans might risk broken arms reaching for it too fast.
It’s this. Whatever a family has to pay for the doctor, the hospital, the pills or the shots, it could deduct on their federal tax return.
Get that? A 100 percent tax credit on health care costs. Socialized medicine turned inside out, you might say.
Instead of the government taking care of us, we take care of ourselves. And by just that amount, lowering our tax bills.
The screams in Washington might be heard clear to Pittsburgh, where the congressman who marches to his own drummer grew up in suburban Munhall. Pangs of tax starvation would grip the Treasury. Rep. Paul, a retired physician, would treat that malady by putting Uncle Sam on a severe spending diet. In short, a snowball’s chance.
Yet his proposed H.R. 1495, the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act of 2009 is a useful exercise. It demonstrates how market forces might yet rope in the inflation that’s stampeding toward socialism.
Recall how irritating it is at income tax time to find you can deduct medical expenses only over 7.5 percent of income? Paul would abolish that threshold. All medical costs, including for high-deductible insurance tied a Health Savings Account (HSA), would go toward a tax credit. And the credit could be refunded against payroll taxes, letting low-wage workers in on it.
Other freedom enhancements are written into Paul’s legislative initiatives that news media ought to, but rarely give, a mention.
For instance, his Freedom from Unnecessary Litigation Act (H.R. 1498). The lawyers’ lobby invariably swats down all efforts at tort reform. Paul would go around them with a tax credit for “negative outcomes insurance.” The patient might buy it before surgery. Bad result, the policy pays off. The system as a whole would save untold billions in insurance liability costs for doctors and hospitals. Plus the vast waste of “defensive” medicine’s excessive testing. And the loss of physician talent by early retirements in disgust.
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