"Real reform must address the problem of rising costs."
I believe we must reform our health care system so that all Americans have access to quality and affordable coverage, but the new health care law is the wrong approach. It fails to reduce costs, and real reform must address the problem of rising costs, which have more than doubled over the last ten years. Washington's health care overhaul was crafted in a flawed process: negotiated in secret, without bi-partisan buy-in and without real debate. Not surprisingly, that flawed process produced a bad result: health care "reform" that fails to reduce costs, raises taxes on small businesses, raises premiums on working families, reduces the quality of care, cuts Medicare on Connecticut's seniors, and puts government bureaucrats between doctors and patients.
I support several common sense cost-cutting proposals. Malpractice reform must be an essential part of health care reform. This alone would reduce the federal deficit by at least $54 billion over the next ten years. Malpractice reform is critical to reducing defensive medicine costs -- redundant tests and procedures that medical professionals administer not out of medical necessity, but rather because they want to be protected in the event they are sued and forced to answer questions from a plaintiff's attorney. Some studies estimate that comprehensive medical malpractice could achieve $242 billion annually in cost reductions -- an amount equal to 10% of total annual health care costs. According to Pacific Research Institute, comprehensive malpractice reform, each year, would save $191 billion by curbing defensive medicine, nearly $42 billion from increased output and another $9 billion from lowering direct tort costs associated with abusive lawsuits. In addition to malpractice reform, we must allow individuals and small businesses to pool together to get health insurance at lower prices. And we must allow individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines.
I support efforts to expand coverage by improving the private market system. Every American should be able to choose the health care plan that best meets his or her needs. And the doctor-patient relationship must be protected. Government-run health care won't do that.