Sen. Baker believes Washington needs to start with a clean slate to create meaningful health care reform, and that comprehensive reform can only be achieved through bi-partisan efforts. Health care must be affordable and accessible for EVERY American - regardless of pre-existing conditions. Government-run health care is not the answer; it will limit patients' choices, increase costs and diminish the quality of our health care. The goal is to improve Americans lives through well-being and prevention.
How do we accomplish this?
* Implement comprehensive medical liability reform that will reduce costly, unnecessary defensive medicine practiced by doctors trying to protect themselves from overzealous trial lawyers.
* Encourage small business pools. Recognize that one of the largest obstacles for many small businesses when it comes to retaining current employees or creating new jobs is the cost of health insurance. Any plan should allow states, small businesses, associations, and other organizations to band together and offer health insurance at lower costs.
* Make health care plans portable. Allow individuals to keep their health insurance if they change jobs or move out of state.
* Require insurance companies to provide coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.
* Provide immediate substantial financial assistance, through new refundable and advanceable tax credits, to low- and modest-income Americans.
* Promote prevention and wellness by giving employers and insurers greater flexibility to financially reward employees who seek to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, exercise, and manage chronic illnesses like diabetes.
* Create incentives to save now for future and long-term health care needs by improving health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements as well as creating new tax benefits to offset the cost of long-term care premiums.
* Bring greater fairness to the tax code by extending tax savings to those who currently do not have employer-provided insurance but purchase health insurance on their own.
* Help employers offer health care coverage to their workers by reducing their administrative costs and offer a new small business tax credit
* Make health care more convenient by eliminating bureaucratic red tape to expand access to Community Health Centers that are so critical to underserved areas, both in large cities and in rural America.