2) There are plenty of good ideas for free market health care reform.
One silver lining that has come about from ObamaCare has been an outpouring of proposed free-market alternatives to the current law.
One small sampling of many such proposals includes the Docs4PatientCare, “Physician’s Prescription for Health Care Reform,” proposals from the American Association of Physicians and Surgeon (AAPS), and “The Pipes Plan: The Top Ten Ways to Dismantle and Replace Obamacare“ by Sally Pipes (Pacific Research).
Although proposals differ in various details, they share many common features and they would all move us in the direction of a fully free market in health care. These include fixing the tax code to put employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance on a level playing field, repealing costly mandates specifying which benefits insurers must offer, allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, and eliminating monopolistic medical licensing requirements that prevent doctors from practicing across state lines.
Such reforms would uncouple insurance from employment, allowing consumers to keep their own policies when they change jobs. Furthermore in a free market, consumers could purchase riders while still healthy to guarantee future insurability in the event they develop later medical problems (so-called “health status insurance“).
Similarly, there are various proposals to restructure Medicare to allow patients more control over their health spending, as an interim step towards the eventual goal where, “Medicare as we know it is phased out and the transition to private health insurance is accomplished” (per Docs4PatientCare).
There’s certainly legitimate room for debate on specific points of these proposals. But whereas the debate in 2010 was on how best to create a government-run health system, the debate starting in 2012 should be over how best to replace ObamaCare with free market reforms.