Printed on 2/15/16

Health Care Reform

As a physician for more than 35 years, and as the owner of a medical clinic for many of those years, I have a keen understanding for both the practice and business of medicine. Throughout my career, Ive learned that leadership in both business and medicine requires a steady hand, because if not, a person could die.

Health care policies that choose one group over another for care, at the expense of one group over another, are neither fair nor effective. Policies that give government a financial incentive to ration care will, in the long run, benefit the governments budget, not the individual.

Our healthcare system needs reform, but the package being pushed on America now is the wrong one. There's a better way:

• Require companies to sell insurance regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.

Tort reform. Reduce predatory and frivolous malpractice lawsuits against hospitals and physicians to reduce the cost of malpractice insurance and the need to practice "defensive medicine."

Increase competition. Allow private health insurance to be sold across State lines.

• Level the playing field by allowing the self-employed and unemployed to buy individual policies with tax-deductible dollars, like a business. Allow families to become a "group."

• Give American citizens without employer-provided benefits a voucher of $2000 for an individual and $5,000 for families to purchase health care insurance. Even over 20 years, this would be a lot cheaper than the $1trillon price tag of Obamacare. Pay for it from unspent monies in the Stimulus Bill.

Remove the cap on tax-deductibility for Health Savings Account contributions. Allow individuals to use HSA accounts to pay for health insurance.

Standardize state coding and forms so insurers can compete consistently on price and service and to reduce the costs of paperwork.

Get rid of many of the State mandates for insurance-covered treatments. (It doesn't make sense to require a man's insurance policy to cover a pap smear, etc.) There are currently 1,961 mandates nationwide.

• Encourage insurance companies to give incentives for wellness behavior through reduced rates for healthy policyholders.

• Utilize electronic health records for more accurate data management and efficient treatment.

• Expand "Comparative Effectiveness Technology" - using data to determine which medical approaches work best, as long as treatment choices by doctors and patients are not restricted.

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Representative Janak Joshi
Colorado House District 16L