We can all agree that our nation's health care system is badly in need of reform. And while the new health care law's stated goals of reducing costs and improving access to health insurance are laudable, I disagree with the approach taken by the last Congress. 2,000 pages of government control at a cost of nearly two trillion dollars and higher taxes -- to say nothing of an independent panel of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats with the power to set prices for Medicare -- is not the cure for what ails health care in America.
I believe it's critical that we replace the law with commonsense, market-based reforms that will increase consumer choice and actually bring down the cost of health care. In fact, during debate on it, my colleagues and I offered a commonsense alternative that would lower costs, increase competition, expand portability for those between jobs, and provide better coverage for pre-existing conditions. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), our alternative plan would have lowered health insurance premiums for American families and small businesses by as much as 10 percent.
Here are just a few of the steps we took in our alternative bill that will help lower costs and increase access for all Americans; should the Supreme Court through the Administration's health care law out, I hope similar provisions will be included in any replacement legislation:
Enact medical malpractice reform: to curb junk lawsuits and stop forcing doctors to practice costly defensive medicine. The other side of the aisle has consistently refused to enact this measure because of the influence of trial attorneys.
Allow Association Health Plans (AHPs): so that small businesses can band together and offer their employees the same discounted health insurance coverage enjoyed by employees of large corporations and union members.
Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): expand deductions for healthcare savings. Americans are looking for ways to gain more control of their healthcare costs. HSAs allow families and individuals to save money tax-free for their health care needs and shop for the best deals.
Purchase insurance across state lines: Americans can buy virtually every other kind of insurance nationwide. Our plan allows Americans to shop for health insurance coverage from coast to coast too. By allowing individuals to purchase from any one of the more than 1,000 insurers in the country, we can increase competition, lower health insurance premiums, and increase choices for the consumer.
Prevent insurers from unjustly canceling a policy or imposing caps: Our plan prohibits an insurer from canceling a policy unless a person commits fraud. It also prevents insurers from imposing annual or lifetime spending caps.