Many people ask me when I talk with them about running for Congress, "When will we ever get this healthcare situation figured out?"
I wonder how we can be the greatest, most innovative nation on earth and still get crushed under outrageous healthcare premiums and burgeoning healthcare costs. The only thing that I can think of is that we lack the type of leadership that understands the free market, and is therefore unwilling to put those principles to work for the American consumer.
A free market solution would enable the government to participate in the healthcare market just like an individual consumer, thus providing a range of options for Americans who require a subsidized option from the government.
Medicare would stay the same and remain as the premier option for our seniors.
Americans are smart consumers and they will go where they can get the best care for their healthcare dollar. Opening up the system fully to consumer choice will put insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals on notice that they will need to provide a quality product at a good price, or risk losing their share of the market to a competitor.
Opening markets across state lines will do for healthcare consumers what the opening up of the auto insurance market did for drivers. Consumer choice in a free market drives down cost while providing the personalized options people want.
But where is Congress?
Fixing healthcare is not about ideology, it is about practicality. Many presidential candidates, along with their counterparts in Congress, are touting socialized medicine as the answer. If implemented, any form of socialized medicine would suppress growth in the US economy, limit choice, force taxpayers to pay more, and generate a huge government run bureaucracy.
I have experienced first-hand socialized medicine in Europe, and I can tell you it did not provide the type of healthcare access and quality of care that citizens deserve.
Surely, the failures of Obamacare demonstrate that "one size fits all" healthcare is not working for the American people, particularly young people. Under Obamacare, there were no choices for working young people seeking affordable healthcare who did not require subsidies. Unfortunately, they were required to pay for things they did not need or go without care. Many opted to pay the penalty rather than buy into Obamacare.
Is this what we want for our young people just starting out in life?
Now, many in Congress want to eliminate private insurance altogether, force Americans to cede their healthcare decisions over to the federal government, and pay for health insurance for illegal immigrants.
It is difficult to watch as liberal members of Congress push for a socialized single payer system when so many countries around the world have had limited success with their programs.
We should be using the strength of our economic system to bring innovation to healthcare. We should be opening up markets, not proposing limited options.
Despite the fact that Democrats passed Obama Care without a single Republican vote in 2010, we should be bringing together the practical minds on both sides to solve this problem once and for all for the American people.