Forget the 1,000 page plus health care reform bills on Capitol Hill. You know, deep down, that nobody has read these massive concoctions; you also know that, even if you read every word, you wouldn’t have the foggiest what it all means. It’s just too big and complicated. Jeffrey Anderson has managed to put forward a comprehensive, alternative plan on one page. Finders fee: Jennifer Rubin, who summarizes the high points:
1. Leave employer-provided insurance as it is and give individuals a $2,500 tax credit to equalize tax treatment for individuals who buy their own insurance.
2. Allow individuals to buy insurance across state lines.
3. Extend COBRA for up to 30 months, allowing people to keep their insurance if they leave a job.
4. Remove government regulations limiting insurers from offering premium breaks for healthy lifestyle choices.
5. Enact real malpractice reform (limit punitive damages to $250,000 and all noneconomic damages to $750,000).
6. Provide help to encourage insurance pools for the hard to insure.
That’s it. Over 10 years Anderson’s plan would spend $75B and include $345M in tax cuts. The Baucus bill (one version of it, at least) would spend $856B and include a net increase of $352B in tax hikes and $47B in fines. Both the Anderson and the Baucus plans would insure 95 percent of Americans.
There is something to be said for simplicity — and a lot to be said for achieving the same results as Democrats are promising without a massive tax hike, a government takeover of health care, another massive hit to the budget, and thousands of pages of new federal regulations.
Speaking of massive pieces of legislation, New Gingrich offered an interesting explanation on Fox last night of why Senator Max Baucus refused to post his bill for the public to read. Remember he said it would take too much time? And we all thought it was because he’s not ‘net savvy? Well, according to Gingrich, the explanation is worse: there’s no bill yet. What we hear debated and discussed hasn’t yet been put in any kind of format that the public could read.