Image: Gage Skidmore under CC 3.0
Representative Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican and 2008 presidential primary candidate (and father of Tea Party backed Senate candidate Rand Paul), has written and proposed his own version of healthcare reform. If the GOP is truly interested in fixing the system and not simply scoring political points, they should consider it.
In keeping with his beliefs, the Private Option Health Care Act pending in the House of Representatives seeks to largely keep the government out of private business. There is no mandate to pay a fine if you don’t purchase a qualifying health insurance plan. It uses tax deductions and credits to make insurance more affordable, while encouraging people to sign up for Health Savings Accounts and other high-deductible coverage options that cause them to take greater responsibility for their health care.
It also uses the Constitution’s commerce clause–ironically under fire by Obama reform opponents–to allow the interstate selling and purchase of health insurance plans. At the same time, people will now be able to import prescription drugs from reputable countries with high quality control, like Canada and those in Western Europe. Tort reform is also involved, obviously, as a method of cutting costs. At the same time, consumer protection will be retained through a tax credit that pays for insurance against negative medical outcomes.