Here are some positive solutions to health care reform.

First Principles

1. Abide by the Constitution.
2. Do no harm – especially in the arena of civil rights including the rights of conscience, therapeutics and privacy.
3. Empower doctors and patients. Keep decision making at the bottom by eliminating 3rd party, non-professional decision making.
4. Help those who truly cannot help themselves. Lower the cost of medicine by returning to a system of market driven, competitive, free enterprise.

Strategic Construction of Reform
(Dr. Charles McGowen has written extensively and specifically on how this strategy can be instituted. Visit his blog for more information.)

1. Personal responsibility comes first. The two biggest contributors to rising medical costs are smoking and obesity. Individuals who make non-healthy choices should shoulder more of their own costs, not less. See Dr. McGowen’s Program called CHIP SHOTS.

2. State laws are designed to deal with health/medical issues far better than federal laws. Therefore the states should be the primary source of health care legislation and enforcement under the advice of practicing physicians and state medical boards.

3. Consider model plans in the states that include:

a) The return of interns to the role of medical providers for the uninsured and needy, rotating through medical, surgical, obstetric, pediatric and urgent care sections in county wide community health care clinics, under the guidance of residents in those specialties and overseen by a retired physician boarded in the specialty of concern.

b) The enhancement of medical savings accounts combined with insurance for catastrophic care.

c) The reform of medical litigation to end frivolous lawsuits and excessive trial awards, including caps on rewards of $250,000 (23 states already have this) with “loser pays” provisions.

d) State bloc grant for Medicare (until its elimination) and Medicaid to encourage reform and elimination of fraud.

e) Permit private insurers to sell policies across state lines without price setting.

f) Encourage risk pooling across state lines to lower costs for individuals with special needs and pre-existing disease.

g) Promote incentives for Medical Schools to accept more students, not less, in the field of primary care medical practice.

h) Gradual phasing out of Medicare over a period of 10 years, replacing it with tax deductible contributions to medical savings accounts. All persons 55 and older would still be eligible for the current Medicare benefits.