If the president wants to show that he is serious about reforming health care in a bipartisan way, then he should start by addressing the low-hanging fruit that most people agree on. Here is a short list.
1. Tort Reform
The golden olive branch—the best peace offering that the president could offer to republicans—is tort reform. Eliminating frivolous law suits is important for moral reasons, as well as fiscal ones. Of course, tort reform isn’t, as the President said, “the silver bullet” on health care—but it is a simple way to save Americans a few bucks, and when it comes to health care reform, every $100 billion counts.
2. Waste, Fraud and Abuse
No one likes fraud. No one. Republicans will be thrilled to have a president detail how he fix the long-broken public entitlement programs. How will you eliminate it? How much will that cost? If waste and fraud are rampant enough to pay for universal health care, then they are universal enough to save seniors and Americans hundreds of billions of dollars. Waste should be eliminated, and we shouldn’t have to wait for a 1,000 page bill.
3. Insurance Companies Deserve Competition
Republicans love the free market—even in health insurance. Dropping the laws that prevent people from buying insurance across state borders would supply that competition. So far, no one has explained why this is a bad idea.
4. If there won’t be abortion, then just say so
There are many people who are afraid that federal dollars will go toward abortion. President Obama has said that he will not allow this to happen—or for funding to go to illegal immigrants either. If this is the case, then putting it in the bill, in no uncertain terms, would be a simple way to show it.
5. Transparency in Health Care
Americans overwhelmingly support any method of revealing the quality and cost of health care—and for good reason: this may well be the heart of the problem for health care reform. Allowing individuals additional information about their health care company (like a satisfaction rating on amazon.com) is a simple way to help re-center the free-market