(Sue Lowden) – Rather than crippling our nation with higher debt and higher taxes to fund government-run health care, I have called for solutions that can begin to drive down the cost of health insurance, thus making it more accessible to those who do not have coverage today.
First, Congress should immediately pass and implement meaningful, national medical liability reform. Even Senator Reid admits that this can save us $54 BILLION. America has the most expensive civil litigation system in the world, and it is estimated that 40 percent of claims are meritless.
Medical liability reform not only keeps more doctors practicing medicine today, but it prevents the practice of “defensive medicine” in our hospitals and clinics. The Pacific Research Institute has put the price tag of practicing defensive medicine at $154 BILLION.
In addition, I support allowing Nevadans and all Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, just as we are allowed to do when shopping for the best car or life insurance for our families. This would instantly bring more companies into the fold – competing for our business by offering more health care options at more affordable prices.
Further, we should allow small businesses to better pool their resources together when employers are purchasing health insurance for their employees.
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. We need to give small businesses the same purchasing power as big business and big labor. This effort, coupled with available Health Savings Accounts for consumers, will further drive down costs – both in your tax bill to the government and for your health insurance.
Finally, Nevadans should be able to not only purchase their health care from other states if those plans are more affordable and meet their needs, but they should have better options of purchasing health insurance outside their businesses so they don’t lose their coverage if they lose or leave their jobs.
Our citizens should be able to take their health insurance with them when they move from one employer to the next. This will prevent lapses in health coverage and provide our residents with the stability they deserve in their health insurance even as we have little stability in our local economy.
These are just a few cost-savings measures that Congress can implement now, and immediately bring down the cost of health insurance and make it more accessible to Nevada families. Senator Reid’s plan only drives up costs, deficits and taxes – and does not accomplish what any health care reform package must provide – better quality and accessibility.
(Mrs. Lowden is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Nevada)