Introducing the Private Option Health Care Act
by Ron Paul
Most everyone agrees that health care in the United stated has major problems, the biggest problems relating to skyrocketing costs. No one doubts the system is in need of reform. However, too many in Washington see tighter government controls as the solution. In fact, the problems are rooted in past government controls that created more problems than they solved.
Ironically, laws and policies in the 1970s promoting health maintenance organizations, resulted from desperate attempts to control spiraling costs. However, instead of promoting an efficient health care system, HMOs took far too much control away from patients and physicians and gave it to the insurers. This excessive reliance on third-party payers instead removed incentives for insured patients to economize on health care costs, and allowed the problem to snowball. Furthermore, the third-party payer system created a two-tier health care system where people whose employers could afford to offer Cadillac plans have access to top quality health care, while others face financial obstacles in obtaining quality health care.
For these and other reasons I introduced the Private Option Health Care Act last week. This bill places individuals back in control of health care by replacing the recently passed "tax, spend, and regulate" health care law with reforms designed to restore a free-market health care system.
First, the bill would provide all Americans with a tax credit for 100% of health care expenses. This tax is fully refundable against both income and payroll taxes. It would also allow individuals to roll over unused amounts in cafeteria plans and flexible savings accounts. Next, it would provide a tax credit for premiums for high deductible insurance policies connected with a health savings account and allow seniors to use funds in HSAs to pay for "Medigap" policies. In addition, it would repeal the 7.5% threshold for the deduction of medical expenses and thus make all medical expenses tax-deductible.
The Private Option Health Care Act allows Congress to correct the mistake it made last month by replacing the new health care law with health care measures that give control to individuals instead of the federal government and corporations. Our health is too vital to allow for the typical government interference and fixes.
Ron Paul is America's leading voice for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies.