Preserving individual rights as it relates to healthcare simply means- who should be making the medical decisions that affect your family- you and your doctor, or the government? Mr. Romney believes in personal responsibility and has promised the repeal of Obamacare, which will return healthcare responsibility to the patients, but he wants to go much further. Instead of a mandate, he wants to make it attractive to purchase health insurance by giving individuals the same tax incentives that businesses have enjoyed since 1943.
Allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines and creating a market based model where people can shop for policies with benefits that they need and not ones that they will never use. This will drive costs down and make insurance more affordable. He supports health savings accounts and high deductible policies- both phased out under Obamacare. This creates better healthcare consumers- something that always happens when people spend their own money instead of someone else’s.
Romney also wants to extend these same benefits to individuals covered by government run healthcare plans such as Medicare and Medicaid. By converting these to defined contribution plans and allowing patients to go to insurance companies competing in an open market for this business, the high cost of health insurance will plummet and patients gain more control over their individual health care decisions.
In 2009, the healthcare sector was the only part of the economy that grew and added jobs (except for government). At $2.4T annually, it accounts for 1/6 of our GDP. Obamacare places unnecessary burdens on the economy. Full implementation of this massive bureaucratic plan is fiscally unsustainable. Businesses are determining whether they can comply with the law and provide health insurance for employees.
There is so much uncertainty that they are paralyzed and consequently are not hiring. Companies that manufacture medical devices are being “shaken down” by the federal government and asked to pay taxes on gross sales, not just profits. Physicians in small private practices- the essence of American small business- are being crushed by government over-regulation and are either closing their doors or being forced to sell out to hospitals, often at “fire-sale” prices.
Under President Romney, we can expect the yoke of big government to be removed from around the necks of businesses with the repeal of Obamacare. Healthcare related businesses will thrive and those who have fled the US along with their jobs will return. The private practice of medicine will not be exterminated- something we can expect on the path we are currently on.
There is little doubt that Governor Romney is the best hope for healthcare reform in America. Ed Klein summed up the extent of Obama’s healthcare knowledge in the title of his new book: “The Amateur”. It is not he, but Romney who owns this debate. Mr. Romney should seize this opportunity to explain why the Obama administration chose the wrong path to secure America’s health care future.
Hal C. Scherz, MD is the Founder and President of Docs4PatientCare, VP of Georgia Urology, and Associate Clinical Professor Urology- Emory University.
Richard A. Armstrong, MD is the Chief Operating Officer of Docs4PatientCare, an organization of concerned physicians committed to the establishment of a health care system that preserves the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship.