So this is going to be a list, of sorts, of what an alternative healthcare reform could be from the Republican side.
I'll start this list from comments I've read from other Republicans and conservatives, such as Jennifer and Pamela. The list will expand with other ideas found, or brought into the discussion in the comments. I'll update as we go.
So far, here is what I've got:
From Pamela D. Hart:
Add a policy, something like Medicare, let’s just call it “Medifree.” Medifree will cover anyone who doesn’t have private insurance, isn’t on Medicare, Medicaid or can’t afford insurance through their employer or any other means. Those who CAN afford insurance but choose NOT to purchase it, i.e. the 18-34 yr old invincibles and families who earn at least $50K, would have to purchase their own insurance. Those who truly can NOT afford insurance would get insurance through “Medifree” because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and are too young to be on Medicare.
Law and Order Teacher:
Have government and private health care form a partnership, something on the order of the public utilities commissions.
*Change the tax code. Individuals should have the same tax incentives as employers who offer coverage. For example, there could be an income tax deduction of $7,500 for individuals and $15,000 for families. Over the long-term, people will move to portable, long-term individual insurance.
* Refundable tax credit. A refundable tax credit of $2,500 for individuals or $5,000 for families would eliminate the tax exclusion for those who get their insurance from their employers.
* Allow the purchase of health care insurance across state lines so that individuals have more choices in plans. This will encourage a robust market in individually owned health care.
* Reduce state regulations and mandates on insurance plans to help reduce costs. There are 1,901 mandates nationwide in 2007, up from 1,843 in 2006.
* Expand tax breaks for Health Savings Accounts. HSAs provide for tax-free accumulation and at the same time offer real protection against larges losses.
* Allow for the growth of convenient clinics. There are about 700 retail clinics located in Wal-Marts, Targets, and other Walk-in Centers. Convenient clinics reduce the costs by offering the uninsured an alternative to emergency rooms. It’s also an inexpensive option for people with HSAs.
* Medical Malpractice reforms are needed to help keep doctors’ insurance costs down which will reduce the costs of care. For example, states could enact laws that would put a cap on non-economic damages.
* Provide vouchers for the working poor so that they can purchase insurance from a state pool.
*Make health insurance more like car insurance. Provide choices.
Cost of Illegal Immigration to our healthcare system
Tort Reform - Frivolous and Record Breaking Awards
Education and Personal Health Responsibility
Freeing up Health Professionals to Deal with actual Health issues
Doctor Availability and the lack of new doctors entering the market
3rd party payer healthcare places incentives in the wrong area (HMOs and the real cost)