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Public Statements

Issue Position: Health Care

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

America has the highest quality medical care in the world, but we must take measures to reduce costs and make access to health insurance more affordable for everyone. Unfortunately, the current health care reform legislation being considered by Congress fails to address the fundamental causes of high health care costs, while simultaneously creating a host of new problems that threaten to diminish the quality of medical care Americans have now. Democrats are on a mission to do to the healthcare industry what they did to the auto industry and the financial sector through a complete government takeover. Their plan would kill jobs, increase taxes on small businesses and force millions of Americans from their current healthcare coverage.

The key to making health care more affordable lies with increasing competition and eliminating unnecessary overhead costs on the system, not with a new government takeover of the healthcare system.

Purchasing Across State Lines

In order to reduce health care costs we must increase competition. Any viable health care reform legislation must afford consumers the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, which will drastically expand competition in the marketplace and drive costs down. There are approximately 1,300 health care providers in the United States, but due to the prohibition on purchasing insurance across state lines, one or two providers often consume 70-80% of the market share in some states. Allowing all 1,300 providers to compete for business nationwide would blow open competition and would make health care far more affordable for all Americans.

Tort Reform

America's health care system is plagued by a constant stream of frivolous lawsuits that result in an unnecessary inflation of health care costs. Doctors are being force to combat impending lawsuits in two ways, both of which drive up costs on the system, costs that are then passed on to patients.

o Malpractice Insurance Premiums: Tort reform would help curb the number of junk lawsuits filed against doctors, which would in turn lower the cost of malpractice premiums and reduce overhead costs on hospitals.

o Defensive Medicine: As a result of frivolous lawsuits, many doctors are forced to engage in defensive medicine, a practice that leads doctors to order needless tests or procedures to protect themselves against future lawsuits. A 2008 survey found that more than 80% of doctors in some states practice defensive medicine and that 25% of all imaging tests were ordered for defensive purposes. Tort reform would help eliminate the need for the practice of defensive medicine and would reduce health care costs by as much as $200 billion a year.

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