Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mitt Romney Gives More Details About His Healthcare Plan For America

Yesterday, Mitt Romney announced that he would be giving a major speech at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor in which he would reveal his plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The  Free and Strong America PAC, Mitt Romney's political action committee, has already released an outline of what he will present in Ann Arbor tomorrow. 
Today, Mitt Romney gives us sneak peak at what he will present tomorrow in an op-ed that was published at USA Today. In that article, he gives us five things that he will do to repeal and reform health care in America:
Step 1: Give states the responsibility, flexibility and resources to care for citizens who are poor, uninsured or chronically ill. This reform speaks to the central advantage of our federalist system — that different states will experiment with and settle on the solutions that suit their residents best. Some states might pass a plan like the one we did in Massachusetts, while others will choose an altogether different route. We can empower states to expand health care access to low-income Americans by block-granting funds for Medicaid and the uninsured. My reforms also offer the states resources to help the chronically ill — both to improve their access to care and to improve the functioning of insurance markets for others.
Step 2: Reform the tax code to promote the individual ownership of health insurance. The tax code offers open-ended subsidies for the purchase of insurance through employers. This subsidy is unfair — as it doesn't apply to insurance purchased on one's own. I propose to give individuals a choice between the current system and a tax deduction to buy insurance on their own. This simple change creates the best of both worlds. Absolutely nothing will change for those who like their current coverage. And individuals who don't get coverage through their employers will have portable, lower-cost options.
Step 3: Focus federal regulation of health care on making markets work. This means both correcting common failures in insurance markets as well as eliminating counterproductive federal rules. For example, individuals who are continuously covered for a specified period of time may not be denied access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions. And individuals should be allowed to purchase insurance across state lines, free from costly state benefit requirements. Finally, individuals and small businesses should be allowed to form purchasing pools to lower insurance costs and improve choice.
Step 4: Reform medical liability. We should cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice litigation. The federal government would also provide innovation grants to states for reforms, such as alternative dispute resolution or health care courts.
Step 5: Make health care more like a consumer market and less like a government program. This can be done by strengthening health savings accounts that help consumers save for health expenses and choose cost-effective insurance. For example, we should eliminate the minimum deductible requirement for HSAs. The market reforms I am proposing will drive down costs, better inform consumers and improve the quality of health care in our nation.
In the op-ed, Mitt Romney reiterates his pledge to issue an executive order granting waivers for all 50 states to be freed from ObamaCare while Congress works to repeal Obama's health care bill. Many people think that Mitt Romney cannot issue that executive order but I think he can.
As I predicted, you would not see the individual mandate anywhere in his new health care plan for America. That's because it was never a central part of his plan. It was mere side show that was designed to eliminate the public dependency on government health care,  prevent those who fraudulently use the system for their own selfish ends and shift the responsibility of health care away from the government to the individual. 
When Mitt Romney reveals the full details of his plan tomorrow, you'll see it will be radically different from his health care plan in Massachusetts. 
Moreover, the new health care plan will be a great counter punch to Obama's health care plan because it will be based on conservative principles of free markets, personal responsibility and accountability as well as promote federalism in which each state is free to manage and tackle health care in their own state.  
Tomorrow, everyone will be eager to hear the full details of Mitt Romney's conservative approach to fixing health care. Check back here for a full analysis of the Mitt's speech. 

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