The GOP health care plan

Let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to health care reform.  That said, the new GOP plan deserves our support.  It's a good move in the right direction.  And as for the conservative purists who feign revulsion at the thought of another entitlement program – why haven't they been revolted for decades?

As Sally Pipes noted a year ago at Forbes, the tax benefits of employer-paid health care rival the mortgage interest deduction and Social Security as one of the middle class's favorite entitlements.

The GOP roughly falls into two camps: those who would prefer to allow Americans to deduct a portion of the cost of health insurance from their income taxes, just as businesses can, and those who would grant individuals age-based refundable tax credits to help cover the cost of coverage.

Those in the latter camp have the better argument.  Such credits represent the most effective way to make health insurance affordable and accessible to the greatest number of Americans.

Universally available individual tax credits would help rid the U.S. health care system of one of its biggest problems: the inequity between those who get health insurance through work and those who must purchase it on their own.

The GOP plan stands a good chance of lowering health insurance costs due to increased competition.  We should see more low-cost plans becoming available.  President Trump is talking about lowering drug costs by reforming the FDA.  A long-term combination of competition, price disclosure, government reform, and deregulation would put the country on a path of reduced health care costs.  This should be the big-picture focus.  No plan will be perfect.  But the GOP – and the president – are on the right track.

And now, more than ever, they could use some support.

Let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to health care reform.  That said, the new GOP plan deserves our support.  It's a good move in the right direction.  And as for the conservative purists who feign revulsion at the thought of another entitlement program – why haven't they been revolted for decades?

As Sally Pipes noted a year ago at Forbes, the tax benefits of employer-paid health care rival the mortgage interest deduction and Social Security as one of the middle class's favorite entitlements.

The GOP roughly falls into two camps: those who would prefer to allow Americans to deduct a portion of the cost of health insurance from their income taxes, just as businesses can, and those who would grant individuals age-based refundable tax credits to help cover the cost of coverage.

Those in the latter camp have the better argument.  Such credits represent the most effective way to make health insurance affordable and accessible to the greatest number of Americans.

Universally available individual tax credits would help rid the U.S. health care system of one of its biggest problems: the inequity between those who get health insurance through work and those who must purchase it on their own.

The GOP plan stands a good chance of lowering health insurance costs due to increased competition.  We should see more low-cost plans becoming available.  President Trump is talking about lowering drug costs by reforming the FDA.  A long-term combination of competition, price disclosure, government reform, and deregulation would put the country on a path of reduced health care costs.  This should be the big-picture focus.  No plan will be perfect.  But the GOP – and the president – are on the right track.

And now, more than ever, they could use some support.

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