As I said earlier this week, I’m behind on my reading. I just now got around to reading Whole Foods’ CEO, John Mackey’s op-ed piece in last week’s Wall Street on health care. He broke it down into eight steps:
• Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
• Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.
• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
• Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.
• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Thinking about it, I would rather the government do some sort of plan where they gave people responsibility for their own health accounts rather than giving them insurance. I just think insurance is not the answer because there is no incentive to reduce costs.