Article published Dec 7, 2013
Here's a Republican with a plan
We are not about to suggest the Almighty is planning to intervene in the 2014 race to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. But the thought is intriguing after opening a recent batch of emails.
First, we found a missive from the National Democratic Campaign Committee castigating would-be Republican challengers Frank Guinta and Dan Innis of offering nothing to replace ObamaCare.
Then, as if Innis' campaign team was omniscient, we found a commentary explaining how to do just that.
As part of the "Innis Agenda for Health Care, the email explains: " ... we can't afford to wait for a new President in 2017 to start bringing meaningful reform to our health care system today ... We need bold ideas and common sense solutions, and we shouldn't be dependent on the federal government to get it done. After all, it is clear that the federal government cannot get it done."
Some may argue ObamaCare is yet to be proven a failure. But even if it does start limping down the road on only three of four cylinders, it is in great need of repair. To that end Innis suggests:
- Give people the freedom to choose whether they want to enroll in ObamaCare. Let anyone keep their current insurance plan if they want it.
- Repeal the ACA's perverse Medical Device Tax on everything from tongue depressors to MRI machines.
- Let consumers freely shop for insurance across state lines. By broadening risk pools and spurring competition among insurance companies, costs will come down.
- Streamline the tax code to give individuals the ability to deduct the cost of their health insurance just like businesses.
- Remove artificial limits on Health Savings Accounts and Medical Retirement Accounts. These programs allow Americans to set aside pre-tax dollars for future health care expenses.
- Medical malpractice reforms can reduce costs.
- Revise the approval process for lifesaving drugs so they can reach the marketplace sooner, thus reducing costs and saving lives. (See editor's note below.)
- Look for solutions outside Washington like Rhode Island's use of a modernized Medicaid program which has saved $2.3 billion, while improving access for low-income patients.
As frequent readers are aware we have been editorially critical of the Republican Party's lack of ambition in coming up with an alternative to ObamaCare. While there have been bits and piece promoted - such as tort reform - a comprehensive package has remained elusive.
We are not suggesting Innis has found the Holy Grail of health care reform nor that he has earned our endorsement.
But he can claim some credit for starting to turn the tables on Democrats who have rightfully been able to tell Republicans to put up or shut up.
Well, Innis isn't shutting up; he is putting up.
Editor's note: U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte recently took up the cause of putting lifesaving drugs to quicker use. She has urged the federal Food and Drug Administration to grant an exception to a 2012 ban on a drug that may be able to help McKenzie Lowe, a 12-year-old Hudson girl battling a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. (Nashua Telegraph)
Link to editorial: http://bit.ly/18w3dfP