Finally, Some Sensible Health Care Reform Ideas

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, posts The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare at the WSJ.

The 8 things he lists are:

  1. Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
  2. Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
  3. Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
  4. Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
  5. Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
  6. Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
  7. Enact Medicare reform.
  8. 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.

Go read the whole thing; below, I have some notes of my own.

Point 1 (HSAs) is near and dear to me; I have an HSA and it's great. I get to keep all the money I don't spend; it's mine all mine. That makes me very cost-conscious, and I could be even more cost-conscious if point 6 (cost transparency) was available.

Points 2 (federal tax law), 3 (state law), and 4 (mandated coverage) should be educational to anyone who thinks we already have a free market in health care. We don't. These point out only a few of the kinds of federal and state regulation that reduce the effectiveness of markets.

Not sure how I feel about point 5 (tort reform). I'm definitely in favor of the reform that says "loser pays" but I'm betting that's not what most of the tort reform crowd has in mind.

Point 7 (Medicare reform) is a little vague.

Point 8 (donations to those without insurance) makes for actual *charity*, with all the moral and emotional benefits that confers upon the charitable giver, and not merely confiscation by the government.