One of the core principles of medicine is the famous maxim "first do no harm" -- the idea that given an existing problem, it may be better to do nothing than to do something that risks causing more harm than good. Unfortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which began to go into effect last week, does exactly that -- taking a healthcare system which is the envy of the world and saddling it with layers of federal bureaucracy, while underfunding our commitments to seniors and overtaxing employers and states. If I am elected to Congress, I look forward to working with the Republican leadership to enact sensible healthcare reforms which preserve what is good about our system, while expanding coverage and reducing costs.
With over 50 million uninsured Americans, we must increase access to care, but we can find ways to do so without mandating coverage or putting the burden on employers. I believe that you should be allowed to purchase insurance from another state, and to take your policy with you when you relocate. I would expand the use of Health Savings and Flexible Savings Accounts, allowing tax breaks for purchase of insurance and medication. We must enact comprehensive medical tort reform to eliminate junk lawsuits, which currently cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by inducing physicians to practice "defensive medicine".
In our country's history, as envisioned by our Constitution, the best solutions to our problems have not been those which are imposed by the federal government, but those which percolate through our local and state "laboratories." Let's encourage the states to increase coverage and reduce costs. Let's keep our promises to our seniors, by providing adequate Medicare funding and reducing costly and counterproductive administrative burdens. Finally, let's protect the doctor-patient relationship instead of creating a huge federal bureaucracy which will try to make our medical decisions for us, imposing its own values.
There is a reason why people from all over the world come to our shores to be trained in our medical schools, treated in our hospitals, and to benefit from our pharmaceutical products and medical devices. It is because our health care system is the best in the world. I believe that by enacting common-sense targeted reforms, we will make it even better.