Critical Condition

Health-Care Reform Is Local

This is a smart piece from Tim Pawlenty today:

Congress has an opportunity to take a genuinely bipartisan approach to health-care reform, which is unquestionably needed. Instead of tweaking the Democrats’ plan to put Washington bureaucrats in charge of health care, I recommend a do-over. There are many common-sense elements that could form the basis for bipartisan health-care reform, including: medical malpractice reform, prohibiting coverage denials based on preexisting conditions, guaranteeing portability, electronic prescriptions and medical records, streamlining billing codes and practices, price and quality transparency, pay-for-performance measures, one-stop primary-care “medical homes,” chronic disease management initiatives, tax equity for health insurance purchases, increased incentives for health savings accounts, creating the ability to purchase insurance or form risk pools across state lines, and much more.

As my friend Newt Gingrich said last month when he was at a health-care reform event in Minneapolis, Congress is considering a 1975 socialized medicine model, brought up 34 years later by people who have been in Congress since the early 1970s. The world has moved on. It’s time for Democrats in Congress to catch up. Washington can and should do better. But they’ll need to listen to and learn from our experience in the states to make it happen.