Get The Lawyers OUT!
Get the Government OUT!
Get the Employers OUT!
Get Americans in Shape- with Tax Deductions!
By Wayne Allyn Root, Author
The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts
In my just released book, “The Conscience of a Libertarian” I suggest a simple program to reform healthcare and dramatically reduce costs. Here it is in simplified form:
First, get the lawyers out of the way. Obama wants to spend an extra $1 trillion (or much more) to “save” healthcare. Instead let's try saving almost $1 trillion in healthcare cost by getting the lawyers out of the way. Almost one trillion dollars is the estimated annual cost of frivolous lawsuits, unjustified jury awards, and doctors practicing defensive medicine. We must enact tort reform, limit damage awards, prevent frivolous lawsuits, and institute a “loser pays rule” to introduce accountability and personal responsibility into our American legal system.
In virtually every democracy in the world, except the United States, the loser of a lawsuit must pay the winner's legal fees. The fact that we are the lone holdout indicates why the United States has the highest rates and costs of litigation in the world. Reform the lawyers…and you reform healthcare.
But the reason why tort reform is never mentioned by President Obama is because he's a lawyer; his wife Michelle is a lawyer; his advisors are lawyers; his friends are lawyers; his top contributors are lawyers. Can anyone spell CONFLICT OF INTEREST? No one wants to eliminate lawyers, or lawsuits. In a free society, consumers have a right to sue, and lawyers have a right to represent them. We should zealously protect that right. But we don't have a right to abuse the system. Our goals should be focused on reigning in abusive lawyers, limiting abusive jury awards, and eliminating frivolous lawsuits. That's how you start the process of healthcare reform Mr. Obama.
Second, get the government out of the way. Repeal all government laws, rules and mandates that prevent American consumers from buying any health insurance policy they want, anywhere in the country. It is government rules, regulations, laws and mandates that make healthcare expensive in the first place. Now Obama wants to solve the problem that government created by adding more government? By adding more government rules, regulations and mandates? Obama suggests that government cure the problems and high costs of government-run healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid) by forcing government to take over all healthcare? He wants to spend an additional trillion dollars to save money? The answer is to allow the American consumer to buy any policy, in any state, that best fits their family's needs, without government mandating what should be included in that policy.
Third, get the employer out of the way. Allow Americans to choose and own their own health insurance- without the employer involved. Allow all individuals to deduct healthcare costs (starting with the first dollar) directly off their income taxes. This allows anyone to change jobs or employers, without worrying about losing their health insurance.
Fourth, encourage personal responsibility with Health Savings Accounts. Consumers don't ask government or private insurance to pay for tire changes, oil changes, or minor car repairs. We are responsible for those. So why should government or insurance be asked to pay for every minor medical need, or routine doctor visit? All consumers should be encouraged to save money in a tax deductible Health Savings or Personal Wellness Account designed to pay for minor medical bills and routine doctor visits. A high deductible insurance plan will pay for everything else (the major bills), so consumers are not bankrupted by accident, illness or disease.
Finally, instead of asking Big Brother to punish Americans for bad choices, let's instead encourage and motivate good behavior with tax reductions. Motivating Americans to exercise and get in shape would save billions of dollars in health costs by reducing the need for doctors and prescription drugs, and preventing disease. How do you do that? Make healthy choices tax deductible. The federal government should make gym memberships, and the purchase of home gym equipment tax deductible. Also, vitamins and health supplements should be tax deductible (from the first dollar). It would save this country (and its taxpayers) billions of dollars to encourage that consumers make healthy choices, thereby reducing the need for expensive doctor visits, medical procedures, or prescription drugs. Shouldn't we be encouraging people to not get sick in the first place?
On the state level, we should eliminate sales tax for vitamins and nutritional supplements. Americans should be encouraged to make healthy choices that prevent illness and disease, and lower the national costs of healthcare.
If President Obama and our politicians are serious about reducing the national bill for healthcare, then they should encourage Americans to get healthy by reducing taxes for healthy choices. Instead of punishing, mandating or limiting choices- as liberal politicians and Nanny State bureaucrats often do- Libertarians like me want to increase competition in the private sector to lower costs; increase competition on the state level to expand consumer choice; decrease government involvement; and encourage, motivate, and incentivize consumers to make healthy choices by reducing their taxes. That's the Libertarian way.
Oh and one other thing- put someone in charge of this country who has actually paid for the health insurance of others. Obama and I were college classmates. In the 26 years since we graduated Columbia University, he has never created a business, funded a business, managed a business, created real jobs, or paid anyone's health insurance. On the other hand, I've spent 26 years creating small businesses and jobs, and paying for payrolls and health insurance so that others could live the American Dream. Wouldn't it be a refreshing change to have someone running the American economy who actually knows what it's like to run a business, and to pay for the health insurance of others?
Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate. A detailed explanation of his plan for reducing healthcare costs and solving the healthcare crisis is found in his new book, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts.” The book is available at Amazon.com or at bookstores across the USA. For more of Wayne's views, commentaries, or to watch his many media interviews, please visit his web site at: www.ROOTforAmerica.com