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Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

Small Bill, Big Impact



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During his State of the Union address, President Obama said that “if anyone from either party has a better approach” to health-care reform, “let me know.” In the latest issue of The Weekly Standard, I offer up such an approach.    The small-bill proposal I outline offers sensible solutions to Americans’ health-care concerns. Among other things, the small bill would cut costs by preventing runaway malpractice lawsuits, allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines, and allowing companies to offer lower premiums for healthier lifestyles. It would provide additional help for the uninsured (and self-insured) by giving them a tax-break similar to that which is already available to those with employer-provided insurance — and also by increasing federal support for state-run or state-organized high-risk pools.     The small bill would lower health costs and would significantly increase the number of Americans with health insurance — and at about a quarter the cost per newly insured person as under the Democrats’ proposed overhaul. It would not raise taxes or deficits, and it would not cut Medicare enrollee’s benefits and use the “savings” to fund new programs. 

The small bill would provide targeted solutions to pressing concerns, without expanding the federal government’s control over health care. It would provide real reform. 



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