Newt Gingrich and Gov. Rick Perry provided a different take on the health care bill, focusing on the effects on the states.  They also highlight lessons that Members of Congress could learn from state policies:

Texas, for example, has adopted approaches to controlling health-care costs while improving choice, advancing quality of care and expanding coverage. Consider the successful 2003 tort reform. Fewer frivolous lawsuits have attracted record numbers of doctors to the state as medical malpractice insurance premiums dropped by half. Christus Health, a large Catholic nonprofit system with a significant presence in Texas, spent about $100 million on liability defense payments in 2003. Last year, Christus spent $2.3 million on such payments. Much of that savings has gone into expanding health-care services in low-income neighborhoods.

You might think Washington would be curious about plans to provide more low-income Texans with insurance, reduce expensive emergency-room visits for basic care and make it easier to buy into employer-sponsored insurance. Unfortunately, Washington has failed for 18 months to give Texas permission to use Medicaid dollars for these policies.

There are better ways to improve our health care than the proposed, massive, trillion dollar federal take-over.  No one thinks the status quo is perfect.  Here’s a place where we could start to make real improvements, without sacrificing what’s best about the current system.