Congress has directed the current discussion on health care for the greater part of this year. Democrat "leadership" has attempted to perform, with magician's skill, a sleight of hand that avoids taking responsibility for its own missteps in our health care system. Medicare will be insolvent in 2016, largely through mismanagement, government largesse, and the inability to police the fraud in the system. The current flaw in employer-based coverage is directly attributable to previous governmental interference in the private sector traceable to wage and price controls from the Second World War and assigning a tax break for the employment benefit of health insurance. The glass house analogy applies nowhere better than to the government in the debate about how to improve health care.
Congress should implement policies that vigorously pursue fraud, waste and abuse so that organized crime no longer sees Medicare and Medicaid as an easy target. Federal policy must address the critical funding problems in the current entitlement programs prior to adding trillions of dollars in additional obligations to the dole. Lawmakers must rectify their own previous policy errors prior to committing additional ones and passing the responsibility for their decisions on to the states through long term unfunded mandates.
Encouraging the practice of health insurance decisions being made by the director of human resources through mandates on employers and fines or taxes for non-compliance misses the boat. This ignores previous federal mistakes in the encouragement of what has become our most common form of health insurance aside from federal programs. Health insurance is unlikely to become cheaper or more patient focused until the provider of the product answers directly to the consumer. People will respond with their purchasing power to value and benefit. The House bill does nothing in this regard.
Instead of remaking health care in its own image with homage to policy wishes, advocacy groups, and political pay back, Congress should first heal itself by claiming responsibility for its role in the current cost and downfalls that exist and then correct decades long errors that have been additive. Changing what is working well to satisfy long held political desires for a total government take over of health care is not what America needs or wants. As South Dakota's next Congressman I will endeavor to put and keep patients in control of their health care decisions with their doctors guidance. I will endorse policies that encourage competition which will drive down price and improve quality. I will help keep America's health care the envy of the world.