Dr. Tom Coburn, a Republican Senator from Oklahoma, introduced in Congress this week a comprehensive national health care reform bill called the “Universal Health Care Choice and Access Act” as an alternative to the single payer approaches. The Senator’s press release explains that his bill pursues the following objectives:
- Promoting prevention. The legislation will reform our rudderless and wasteful federal prevention programs and demand results and accountability.
- MediChoice tax rebates that will shift tax breaks away from businesses to individuals. Giving Americans a rebate check ($2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for families) to buy their own insurance will foster competition, improve quality and drive down prices.
- Creation of a national market for health insurance.
- Creating transparency of health care costs and services.
- Securing Medicare’s future by increasing choice and encouraging savings. The bill retains existing benefits but encourages true competition among private plans to hold down costs, a model already is working in Medicare’s prescription drug benefit. The plan would give Medicare recipients similar health care options available to Members of Congress and employees of Fortune 500 companies — [the FEHB Program].
- Keeping Medicaid on mission. The bill liberates the poor from substandard government care and offers states the option to provide their Medicaid beneficiaries the kind of health care coverage that wealthier Americans enjoy.
- Other key provisions in the bill would provide more health care choices to veterans and American Indians, improve the accuracy of medical records, and limit frivolous lawsuit by solving disputes through mediation and impartial medical experts.
And speaking of health care reform, I want to call your attention to this thought provoking article — “Sophistry v. Science” in Healthcare Reform By Scott MacStravic, Ph.D.