Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Five pillars of health care

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

The Wisconsin Institute for Leadership has put forth five principles of health care reform in Wisconsin:

We cannot have a strong and viable economy without reforming the current health care system. The current system unnecessarily drives up costs, is rife with red tape and severely strains both government and family budgets across Wisconsin. Leadership will be necessary to cure the system.

While federal officials wrangle over what the future of health care may look like in the nation, there are measures Wisconsin lawmakers can and must pursue that would improve the lives of families here.

The Wisconsin Institute for Leadership believes that any health care reform measure must be true to the following five principles.

Any reform should guarantee Wisconsinites access to affordable, quality health care by creating a marketplace for a wide variety of affordable health insurance products and a strong and viable safety net for those who genuinely need it.

One size does not fit all. Wisconsin must foster a regulatory environment that promotes the free market. Individuals, families and businesses benefit when they can choose from a large variety of health care coverage products. More options ensure that they can obtain the coverage that suits them best.

The cost of health care procedures and information by which consumers can compare quality of care must be accessible and easy to interpret. Whomever purchases the care, be it an employer or an individual, they should have the ability to make an informed, educated decision based on standardized data.

The costs of health care coverage should be taxed uniformly. All health insurance premiums should be exempt from taxation, regardless of whether an employer or an individual pays them.

While a state-sponsored safety net has its place, the core of any health care reform plan must be consumer empowerment. The state should not structure a standard minimum coverage plan, should avoid the imposition of costly mandated benefits and should refrain from onerous regulations that limit options available to Wisconsin consumers.

You can join the Wisconsin Institute for Leadership's forum to discuss the five principles of health care reform or other aspects of health care reform.