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McClatchy Newspapers - Romney's Health Care Fix: States, Market

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McClatchy Newspapers - Romney's Health Care Fix: States, Market

By: Steven Thomma

"Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will propose today doing for the country what he did as governor of Massachusetts - helping the uninsured get health insurance - while also working to curb soaring health care costs even for those with coverage.

"'We're going to make health insurance affordable. We're going to get on track to have every citizen insured. And we're going to reduce the rate of growth in health care spending,' Romney said in an exclusive interview with McClatchy Newspapers, previewing the proposal he'll unveil today in a speech to the Florida Medical Association.

"He lambasted Democratic health care plans as 'knee-jerk, single-payer' policies run by the federal government. He said Republicans should fight back with 'free market' proposals.

"His own plan is a blend of tax incentives, creative financing to help the uninsured without raising taxes or federal spending, and a state-based system that would depend on governors to fix the country's health-care problems."

...

"To help control costs, Romney would allow all Americans to deduct from their taxable income all of their health-care costs including premiums and most out-of-pocket spending. Now, only people with a lot of expenses can deduct the cost from their taxable income.

"That, Romney said, would provide a tax incentive to buy high-deductible, low-premium health care plans. And that, he said, would lead people to spend less and make better, cheaper choices in buying health care. Overall spending on health care would drop by 6.2 percent, he estimated."

"'You get better behavior in health care,' he said.

"To help the uninsured, Romney would provide a package aimed at helping some people into existing government programs, driving down the costs of private health insurance and subsidies." ...


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