Part 2 of 5
BB: What should be government's role in health care? Would you have voted for or against the health-care bill last March? What should Congress do to improve upon the bill's provisions?---
JP: Government’s role in health care should be similar to its role in the economy: not to control it, but to establish the rules under which it operates.
I personally would not have voted for the health-care bill presented by Congress in March, but I’m not losing any sleep over the fact that it passed. As flawed as it is, it does contain elements that are going to help people, such as working to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions or canceling coverage when people get sick.
I think anyone who’s planning on going to Congress with the intent of repealing the health-care bill would be going on a fool’s errand. Someone like my opponent, the incumbent Congressman Jason Chaffetz, will probably run on a platform that includes a promise to repeal the health-care bill.
If he wins, here’s what’s going to happen: He’ll go back to Washington and co-sponsor a bill to repeal health-care reform. This bill will either die in committee or die in a vote. If by some chance it were to pass and get to the White House, there’s no way it would have a veto-proof majority, and it will die on the President’s desk.
I personally do not care for the mandate, especially since there is little, if anything, in the bill to keep insurance companies from jacking up their rates.
Then, Chaffetz will get on his YouTube channel, his Twitter feed and his Facebook page and complain about how the Democrats aren’t playing fair and are ruining the country. And, after expending all of that energy, he will have accomplished what he’s best known for accomplishing: Absolutely nothing!
A wiser course of action would be to sponsor legislation that improves the health-care reform that was passed in March -- some of which includes, I think, repealing certain portions of it. I personally do not care for the mandate, especially since there is little, if anything, in the bill to keep insurance companies from jacking up their rates.
Of course, we can solve that problem by removing antitrust exemptions from insurance companies so that they can compete across the country and help to bring insurance costs down through market competition. We can help bring drug costs down by enabling Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs. We should also authorize and allocate resources for the National Institute of Health to create an institute dedicated to developing drugs that can be released directly into the generic market.
There are a number of practical improvements that can be made to the health-care legislation. Unfortunately, most of them are suppressed or killed in committee by status-quo politicians working on behalf of special interests instead of the public good.
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