Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal providing a succinct critique of the Democrats’ health care plan and offering recommendations for a more market-oriented approach. Here are the concepts for reform he endorses:
- Consumer choice guided by transparency – an integrated disease-management system.
- Consumers’ financially invested in better health decisions.
- Medical lawsuit reform to reduce need for costly defensive medicine.
- Insurance reform – for portability, with reinsurance, high-risk pools, and other mechanisms.
- Pooling for small businesses, the self-employed, churches and others.
- Payment for performance, not activity – with integrated networks of care.
- Refundable tax credits for low-income working Americans without health insurance.
While those recommendations are fine, they could go deeper and incorporate more free market suggestions, as outlined by Susanne Lomatch. Here is a synopsis – heavily truncated – of those:
— Reform or repeal state health insurance mandates.
— Revise or repeal state health compliance and occupational requirements to allow nurse practitioners to perform greater number of physician tasks.
— Comprehensively revise Medicare/Medicaid and private insurance reimbursement policy to focus on catastrophic payouts.
— Review laws that prevent employers or insurance companies from offering low-risk pools.
— Encourage companies through revisions of state laws to consider ‘self-insurance’ for their employee groups.
Jindal has strong credentials in health care and its reform, starting with his thesis as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, continuing with his early job in taking charge of Louisiana’s health care system, then serving as a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services and on commissions to look at Medicare financing, before getting elected to the U.S. Congress and serving as governor. One would hope he would have some clout on this issue where he has demonstrable expertise and would overcome the effects of his feeble performance for the Republicans in countering Barack Obama’s first address to Congress.