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One thing that might cause people to take better care of themselves is to charge a penalty (higher premium, higher deductible, or higher copay) to people who maintain unhealthy lifestyles (smoking, overeating, underexercising) and provide a benefit to very fit people.

It would be helpful to consumers if medical providers were required to post the range of prices they charge for various common procedures on the internet. Perhaps patients should be able to post comments about their exprience with providers on the internet as well.

Insurance companies should be required to rule on coverage of a particular procedure in advance so that the consumer will know where he stands before incurring an expense.

There should be a frame work in our discussion of health care and medical insurance as follows. It does not address Medicare and VA, but much can apply to reduce government costs in Medicare. VA is a special issue in which we must help those who served our country with the best care, still keeping individual responsibility in mind.

Mission Statement
Medical insurance for Americans should be market driven with each person responsible for their medical insurance which would be provided only by private insurance companies whose policies are free of government regulations.

Philosophy for medical care
Medical decisions should be made by the patient, family, attending medical personnel and religious personnel, if appropriate, with respect for life.

The Principles, Problems and Solutions pertain to all medical care except Medicare and VA.

Principles of a new system
• Health care is an individual responsibility. This also pertains to Medicare and VA participants.
• Medical insurance should be an individual responsibility.
• All medical insurance should be provided by private insurers.

Major problems with the current system
• Third party payer of medical insurance. This reduces personal responsibility.
• Government regulations. This increases insurance costs.
• Excessive law suits and claim awards against medical care providers. This increases insurance costs by causing extra tests to practice defensive care and increased cost for liability insurance.

Solutions for the new system
With the philosophy and the three unwavering principles, the following is the solution to implement a market based medical insurance program in which everyone pays their share of medical expenses.
• Premiums paid by employer provided medical insurance and individual medical insurance should be treated the same from a tax point of view. FairTax would do this. Employer provided medical insurance is a transition to an entire system of individual medical insurance.

• Eliminate regulations.
o Eliminate all federal regulations on the content (required coverages) in medical insurance polices.
o Eliminate Federal regulations that stifle competition in the private medical industry.
o Recommend the states also do the two points listed above.
o Direct states to allow purchase of medical insurance policies from out of state providers.

• Tort reform to minimize the impact of law suits on medical care providers. The reform could be loser pays and/or a limit on liability and pain and suffering.

• Provide assistance (voucher or debit card) for low income uninsured people, who are legal residents of the United States, to pay for a private medical insurance policy.

• Recommend that the medical insurance industry develop a standard policy clearly identifying what is covered and not covered.

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