As a counterpoint to President Obama's proposals for increasing government interference in the healthcare system, Gregory Conko and Philip Klein of the Competitive Enterprise Institute have issued a detailed analytical report, entitled "Political Malpractice", with specific recommendations for free-market reconstruction of the healthcare market. Asserting that the many layers of government regulation have only served to produce our current crisis, they argue that constructive deregulation could resolve market distortions, reducing costs and enabling better informed, cost-conscious decision making by consumers, as opposed to arbitrary bureaucratic manipulation.
To truly reform America's health care system, policy makers should:
1. Modify tax policy to eliminate the disincentives for individual purchase of health insurance and health care.
2. Eliminate regulatory barriers that prevent small businesses from cooperatively pooling and self-insuring their health risks by liberalizing the rules that govern voluntary health care purchasing cooperatives.
3. Eliminate laws that prevent interstate purchase of health insurance by individuals and businesses.
4. Eliminate rules that prevent individuals and group purchasers from tailoring health insurance plans to their needs, including federal and state benefit mandates and community rating requirements.
5. Eliminate artificial restrictions on the supply of health care services and products, such as the overregulation of drugs and medical devices, as well as state and federal restrictions on who may provide medical services and how they must be delivered.
6. Improve the availability of provider and procedure-specific cost and quality data for use by individual health consumers.
7. Reform the jackpot malpractice liability system that delivers windfall punitive damage awards to small numbers of injured patients while it raises malpractice insurance costs for doctors and incentivizes the practice of defensive medicine.
The answer to regulatory strangulation is not more regulation. When what you are doing isn't working, do something else.