Lowering healthcare costs is a common refrain echoed by politicians, particularly those dominating the airwaves as of late in the Republican presidential primary contest. Observers are likely to hear a few general platitudes about the need to stop “Obamacare” and the need to lower healthcare costs. However, voters of all persuasions should demand much more from our elected officials and candidate then mere talking points. We need real answers to real problems.
As a Des Moines Register article this week explained, so far there is little information out there about how the current crop of Republican presidential candidates would actually hold down health care costs. One health policy expert explained that none of the platforms currently put forward by the candidates is anywhere near as comprehensive as the vision outlined by the President. That is not to say that the President’s vision is correct, but as the advocate explains, it does suggest that current Republican proposals are void of any real, new ideas to deal with the public concerns around healthcare costs.
It seems that the only thing that any candidate can say specifically is that they support medical malpractice damage caps. This is usually greeted with support among those who believe that courtrooms are filled each day with fake victims trying to win a quick payday by following through with a pointless medical malpractice lawsuit. Every Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm is well aware of the criticisms of our line of work among some who misunderstand the system and distort the evidence which actually shows that the legal system has little to no effect on the cost of healthcare.
As the health policy expert explained for the article, even scholars who support such caps are always forced to admit that the changes to the legal system would not do much of anything to cut the overall cost of health care. Claims to the contrary are disingenuous, and they are usually propagated by those who have much to gain from the elimination of rights for those hurt by preventable medical mistakes.
Instead of tired arguments about lawsuit damage caps, many suggest that real solutions must be discussed. There are potential good ideas brought forth by many of different political persuasions. For example, many suggest that allowing individuals to buy insurance across state lines could help lower costs. Similarly, elimination of extensive tax breaks for employers who buy extensive programs are being encouraged, because economists have found that it eliminates the incentives of many to directly face the costs of their healthcare decisions. This idea was long-supported by conservative thinkers and is now being pushed by the President.
All current Republican contenders have argued that, if elected, they would repeal the recently passed health care bill. However, little alternatives have been proposed that would in any way address the real problem that millions of Americans have no healthcare specifically because they cannot afford it. These problems are too important to ignore or to allow good proposals to languish in worthless political debate. We need real ideas.
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