DownsizeDC.org
January 19, 2010
Healthcare: We Want Real Reform
By James Wilson

Congressional Democrats are frantically negotiating the final version of the so-called healthcare "reform" bill. We think they should stop and start over.

Tell Congress we want a real healthcare reform bill.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

I do not believe the healthcare bill is about reform. Reform would change direction in healthcare policy, whereas this healthcare bill continues on the failed path of increased government control.

Government control is actually the cause of our healthcare crisis. Consider that in 1960, the United States had the best healthcare in the world, even though . . .

* 75% of healthcare expenses were paid for privately
* There was no Medicare, no Medicaid, nor Ted Kennedy's HMO Act.

Since the federal government got more involved in healthcare . . .

* Federal share of overall healthcare spending jumped from 10.5% to 33.4%
* Instead of reducing costs, overall healthcare expenses jumped from 5.2% of GDP in 1960 to 16.4% http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/tables.pdf

* Healthcare is costlier and more difficult to obtain for more and more people
* Healthcare costs are expected to increase, Obamacare or not http://tinyurl.com/yaly7cq

Considering the giant leaps in science and technology over the past fifty years, health care costs should have remained steady or even decreased - despite an aging population. Consider the tech industry. It constantly creates innovative products that get better and less expensive over time.

The tech industry does this because they have no choice. They must please the customers or go out of business.

The customer should reign supreme in healthcare as well.

Instead, Americans are paying as much as $1.5 trillion more in healthcare than they should. This is a substantial drain on the economy and an impediment to human progress. 

Real healthcare reform means lowering the price tag of medical goods and services. The more affordable healthcare is, the easier it will be for everyone to get the care they need.

And only free market competition, where the customer reigns supreme, can achieve this. There are several reforms that should be implemented, but two proposals that could drive prices down almost overnight would be . . .

* the expansion of tax-free Health Savings Accounts, which will allow more people to shop around for affordable providers and procedures
* allowing individuals to purchase insurance policies across state lines, which will create a national, competitive market for customers which will lower the price of insurance

A bill that increases government control is not "reform." Instead, pass a real reform bill that will make healthcare more affordable by placing power back in the hands of the consumers.

END LETTER

You may send your letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

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