Be More Like America

In looking for innovative health care solutions, I was drawn to an op-ed piece that Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani published in the Boston Globe back on August 3, 2007. In a piece titled A free-market cure for US healthcare system he writes, “Instead of being more like Europe, we need to be more like America.”

Giuliani goes on to write, “America is best when we solve our problems from our strengths, not our weaknesses. Healthcare reform must be based on increased choice, affordability, portability, and individual empowerment.”

Then he strikes at the heart of the matter — tax fairness. “We need to begin by bringing fairness to the tax treatment of healthcare. The current tax system penalizes millions — including the rising ranks of the self-employed and 40 percent of employees at small firms — who pay for insurance on their own and receive no tax benefit.”

The candidate begs the question, why is it that Americans without employer-based insurance, or those who would rather have individual coverage, cannot enjoy the same tax benefits as the 175 million Americans with employer-based coverage?

Giuliani proposes a new tax-free income exclusion up to $15,000 for Americans without employer-based coverage. Any amount a family pays less than $15,000 — for individuals, less than $7,500 — could be put tax-free into a Health Savings Account. This, he says, would create a powerful incentive for more Americans to own their private health insurance — making it portable instead of dependent on an employer.

The conclusion of Giuliani’s article states, “The future of America’s healthcare system lies in free-market solutions, not socialist models. We can increase individual choice and decrease costs by increasing competition, encouraging innovation while always compassionately caring for people in need. That’s the American way to reform healthcare.”

To read the article, click here.

P.S. Thanks to the guys at the HSA Truth blog for the tip about this article.

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