Even before The Affordable Care Act, the US had the largest, most expensive and most wasteful government health care bureaucracy in the world. The US spends about 17.5% of GDP on health care, compared with 9.8% of GDP in Britain and 4% of GDP in Hong Kong. Despite all that spending, our health care outcomes are among the very worst in the developed world. In study after study, the US system ranks dead last in access, quality, equity and efficiency when compared with not only with European systems, but also free-market economies like those in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Democratic Party's answer more regulation and more complexity. They want to fix the reimbursement system by imposing more price controls. And they want a federal mandate compelling all Americans to buy over-priced private insurance - while we continue to pay taxes to support a failing, wasteful public system.
The Republicans want to leave things as they were before The Affordable Care Act, allowing a small group of giant insurance companies in control of the private market, with taxpayer dollars distorting prices and subsidizing corporate profits. Hiding behind a cynical ideological opposition to any public healthcare, the Republicans will allow their allies in corporate America to milk the system dry before it collapses.
Both parties are dead wrong. The only real answer lies in maximizing competition in private health care and freeing it from government meddling, while gradually eliminating the corrupting and wasteful outsourcing model in the public system.
In Congress, Karen Ramsburg will work to:
Lower private health care costs and insurance premiums by:
- Removing most of the public healthcare entitlement burden from the private sector, with a means-tested public insurance option and direct provision of public primary care.
- Enhancing competition among health care insurers by allowing insurance sales across state lines, breaking up insurance cartels and minimizing counter-productive regulation.
Lower Medicaid and Medicare expenditures by:
- Legalizing parallel pharmaceutical imports, allowing drug prices to drop to global levels.
- Allow state and federal government to use their market purchasing power to negotiate drug prices for public-funded care, as every other developed country in the world does.
- Slashing non-medical expenditures by providing, rather than just financing, primary and preventative public health care.
Improve American healthcare outcomes by:
- Strengthening provision of preventative and primary care, and discouraging over-specialization.
- Establish a Veterans Administration-style National Health Corps that enlists young medical professionals into temporary public service, to provide direct care at low cost to the most vulnerable parts of the population.
The only way to ensure access for all Americans, while improving health care outcomes and reducing costs, is through a clean separation of the private and public health care systems, allowing each to do what it does best at the lowest possible cost.