Med School Prof Opposes Dem Health Plans

In an op-ed in today’s Washington Times, which Real Clear Politics titles “Beneath Dem Proposals, Nothing but Hurt,” Stanford University Medical Center neuroradiology chief and Hoover Institution Fellow Scott W. Atlas takes aim at Democratic health reform proposals circulating through Congress, from the Finance Committee plan to the public option.

Dr.  Atlas is an important player in the national health care dialogue.  In fact, during the 2008 elections, he was an advisor on health reform to one of the Republican candidates for president.

When The Stanford Reviewbrought columnist Deroy Murdock to campus to talk about health care reforms last April, I sat down with Dr. Atlas to get his take.  Check out our interview here.

Be sure to read Dr. Atlas’s piece, but here below are some very good health care reforms that Atlas proposes, that I really don’t think get their fair share in the congressional and national debate.

c Allowing people to shop for insurance across state lines at competitive prices.

c Stripping back on costly coverage mandates that most Americans may not value, like acupuncture, massage therapy, in vitro fertilization, and wigs.

c Expanding the availability of high-deductible plans for catastrophic coverage with health savings accounts, making insurance a good value for the millions of Americans who can afford insurance but (perhaps wisely) don’t buy it.

c Bold tax reforms like refundable tax credits, cash even for those who pay no income tax, or vouchers instead of tax deductions, to foster personal ownership and control of insurance, creating millions of value-seeking shoppers.

c Forcing doctors and hospitals to post prices, qualifications and outcomes – information that is essential to value-based purchasing and fundamental for stimulating competition.

Why does health care reform always have to mean more government intervention?

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