Friday, June 29, 2007

The Health Care Debate

The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed today, by Kimberly A. Strassel, about a potential GOP approach to health care reform. It was interesting. The ultimate debate between Democrats and Republicans pits government-run health care against private insurance, and the big question for Republicans is how to cover more people--the main concern of many Democrats--without government taking over and creating an expensive and wasteful bureaucracy. Their current focus is on possibly taking the tax break that goes to employers, and giving that tax break instead to individuals, either by a tax deduction or a refundable tax credit. The thought is that insurance would not then be tied to employment, more people could afford it as a private purchase, and people could still retain individual choice and the benefits of market competition. It's still is not a fix for those who won't settle for anything less than universal coverage, and isn't likely to bring about any kumbaya moments between Republicans and Democrats, but it's an intriguing approach nonetheless.