As the President’s health reform proposals continue to stall in the polls, the administration has called in reinforcements – the first lady.
Using personal stories from her own life – her daughter Sasha’s meningitis scare, her father’s struggle with multiple sclerosis – Obama said that women are “disproportionately affected by this issue because of the roles we play in our families.”
“Women are affected because of the jobs we do in this economy … Women are more likely to work part-time, or work in small businesses, jobs that don’t always provide health insurance,” she said. “Women are affected because in many states, insurance companies can still discriminate because of gender.”
Obama, a former hospital administrator, said her husband’s plan would help “achieve true equality for women.”
We at the Independent Women’s Forum couldn’t agree more – health care is a crucial issue, and the reason that we put out our ad on how women’s care will be affected by a government takeover of health care. We agree that health care reform is needed, and that the current system does not work for everyone. But we can help those in need and improve our overall health care system without a wholesale government takeover of our health care system. Reforms can be made that protect the best part of our system while assisting those who truly need help.
We believe that several incremental reforms can be made to improve the American health care system. We should:
- Allow for the purchase of affordable health insurance over state lines to truly increase choice and competition – at no additional cost.
- Let individual citizens control their own health care dollars so people are aware of the costs of their care.
- Reform the tax treatment of health care, so individuals are given the same tax breaks that employers receive.
- Reform medical licensing laws to reduce red tape and expand practitioners’ scopes.
- Encourage state experimentation in high-risk pools and Medicare/ Medicaid vouchers so we can adequately assess what works and what doesn’t.
- Enact significant tort reform to rein in medical malpractice insurance costs and decrease the use of “defensive medicine” by doctors who are fearful of lawsuits.
- Address the issue of waste, fraud, and abuse in the existing system. Why must this be linked to a giant package? Why not start now?
- Reform Medicare, allowing seniors the choice of purchasing services out-of-pocket above and beyond what Medicare covers.
We believe that your health and health care should not rest of having to “hope” some government bureaucrat sees fit to value your personal health conditions and circumstances. Mrs. Obama may be endorsing her husband’s plans, but we do not.