On Tuesday, The Heritage Foundation hosted a panel discussion at the Kentucky State Capitol about health care reform. The event was attended by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, an innovative leader driving reform in his state, who supports Heritage’s Health Care Choices Proposal. You can read our proposal here.

Following the panel discussion was an editorial board briefing where Heritage health care experts Marie Fishpaw and Nina Schaefer spoke with Kentucky media leaders. After, Heritage research assistant Meridian Paulton led a round table discussion held at The University of Louisville campus. She presented Heritage’s position on single-payer health care to conservative college leaders and equipped them to make the case for free-market reforms. You can read Paulton’s explanation of single-payer health care here.

What can we do better to fight the government takeover of health care?

Comments (25)

Joseph C Kessler - February 22, 2019

Republicans have been wanting to repeal and replace ObamaCare since it was passed in March of 2010. Yet, to this date the Republicans still have not come up with a Health Care Plan to replace ObamaCare.
What have the Republicans been doing for the past 9 years?????

Andy Flores - February 22, 2019

The USA health care system is all about power, authority and greed. Helping sick people is just an act.
A nice insurance plan is a waste of time.
Every day, more people are starting to use natural health Care because it works.
Spend some time reading Mercola.com and you will be well rewarded.
What the average person gets for Health care in this “country” is a disgrace.

Crosby Hamer - February 22, 2019

Please consider using “Governing Class”
and not Government.

What is Bernie’s annual property taxes?

Greater than average US income?

Nancy’s property taxes?

Roger Taylor - February 22, 2019

The problems in the healthcare industry–insurance included–can be summed up in one word; regulation. I see repeatedly statements asking what government can do about healthcare. I will answer the question with a question. Why does government need to do anything?! Get government out of healthcare and let the free market do its job!

Mr John Harold Briggs, Sr. - February 23, 2019

This is not the entire package, but a synopsis of that package: a working pilot. Nevertheless, the following is to be a strong guideline. Additionally, while no one is required to have health care insurance, every legal U. S. citizen is to be offered health care insurance at a rate that is achievable for people at every income level. There is to be no governmental monetary involvement. The government may be used to: (1) help create a list of job titles, or verify annual gross incomes; and, (2) to ensure that no one, or any married couple, is drawing insurance from two health care insurance companies (Spousal Coordination of Benefits Policy Form). These are the only two places in which the governmental can and shall be involved. Insurance companies are driven to offer lower premiums, to offer lower co-pays, and to provide better coverage for everyone through tax incentives which create competition. Insurance companies, while they keep a reserve of money for emergency situations, are to be non-profit, a maneuver that will also help in reducing premiums and co-pay levels.
For purposes of discussion, the term group is to mean a list of legal U.S. citizens and those non citizens who are legally authorized to work in the U.S. who have in common their ability to gain insurance together.

All people, having reached the age of 18 years, with the lone exception of students finishing their k-12 education and those involved in furthering their education, are to be grouped. All groups may be constructed either by (1) employment title or by (2) gross annual income, but not both. A choice by someone has to be made concerning which method will be used to gather members of groups. Nevertheless, those who are not employed, due to chronic illness of any type, are to be grouped together. This also mean that people with pre-existing health conditions must be insured and cannot be refused insurance and care by any health care insurance company. Those who are capable of employment, but are not employed, for any reason, are to be grouped together.

Students, who remain involved with their college education, may remain under their parent’s/s’ health care program until age 32, or until they graduate from an educational institution during the calendar year of their 32nd year in which their education is finalized, and the student must be in a degree-achieving program and actively achieving that degree. Men, at 65 or after, may join Medicare. Women after age 62 may join Medicare. Retired people may stay with their regular insurer or they may opt for Medicare. Retired folk may opt for their group’s pensioners’ full health care insurance or, if they join Medicare, may opt for their group’s pensioners’ supplemental insurance. Folk, who retire before 62/65, may join their group’s pensioner’s insurance.
A law must be passed that permits groups, gathered either by job title or by gross annual income, to cross state borders in order to gain members and, therefore, insurance policies to also cross state borders as well. It would also be helpful if tort reform were enacted and passed, being extremely mindful of both sides of the equation. Tort reform isn’t one single idea or law. Instead, it’s a collection of ideas and laws designed to change the way our civil justice system works. While each tort reform law is different, they all share one or more of the following goals:
• To make it more difficult for injured people to file a lawsuit.
• To make it more difficult for injured people to obtain a jury trial.
• To place limits on the amount of money injured people receive in a lawsuit.
Many people refer to it as tort “reform” because they don’t believe that the proposed laws will actually reform the system, but will instead shift the balance of the scales of justice. Others call it tort deform for the same reason. For example, the web site Tortdeform.com is very critical of tort reform measures. (http://www.whatistortreform.com/)
For purposes of phrase definition, the phrase desired number refers to the number of people required within a group to reduce the group’s health care insurance premiums to an amount that is not excessive for that group of insured people to pay monthly and for their co-pays to not be excessive. When these groups reach a desired number in membership, they will qualify for group rate co-pays. If the desired number is reached within a state’s borders, then there is no reason to gather members from any other state. For instance, educators might have a populace large enough to reach the desired number within their state, but there might not be a large enough populace of saw mill workers to reach the desired number within a state.
Groups whose members are selected because of job title within a state may combine in order to achieve the desired number if the groups involved are related. For instance, waitresses and waiters would be one group. Dish washers would be one group. Cooks/chefs would be one group. However, these same groups could also combine. Gas station mechanics, car dealership mechanics, and truck mechanics within one state could combine; however, if their number still did not attain the desired number, they could join the same joined group in a neighboring state. Landscape workers can unite with lawn mowing services and nursery workers. An alternative to this method of grouping members would be to group members by their gross annual income. Everyone must belong to a group; however, individuals may opt to not purchase health care at the annual enrollment period at their own peril financially and physically. No hospital will be required to offer their services to patients who do not have health care insurance.
People who are physically able to work either in or out of their homes, but refuse to do so, will receive no financial aid of any type or kind from any governmental agency. They will receive no health care insurance. No hospital is required to service them. For those who are willing to work but cannot find work, work will be found for them and the person must accept the position offered or one of the positions offered. If a person is gainfully employed, but does not earn enough money to afford health care insurance, as determined by governmental financial agencies, health care will be provided for them by the health care insurance companies at a lowered rate or at no cost.
People, who for health reasons, cannot work will comprise their own group. They will receive all the help from governmental agencies to which they are entitled. Their health care is free and they may individually select the health care insurance company of their choice.
People who are paying for their health insurance will have added to their premium a stipend which is the insured member’s contribution to those less fortunate. As such, this stipend is tax deductible. Once the federal taxable income is ascertained, the year’s annual stipend is to be deducted resulting in the net taxable income, that net dollar amount used to calculate federal taxes.
There are perhaps 162 Health care insurance companies in the USA and they are to be invited to gain the attention of every group within every state thus providing for competition among the insurance companies for the lowest priced premiums and co-pays for the most coverage.
Tax incentives are offered to the health care insurance companies. On the federal tax forms, each company’s tax burden is reduced by a percentage. The percentage is based upon the number of states in which their insurance is offered. If there insurance is offered in only one state, their burden is reduced by 0.0196, or 1.96%, or 1/51. Within each state, the tax burden would be reduced by the number of groups covered as compared to the total number of groups within the state. That is, if the state contains 85 groups and the insurance company provides insurance to one of the 85 groups, their tax burden is reduced by 1/85, or 0.0118, or 1.18%. A company providing health care insurance to 35 of those 85 groups would reduce their state tax burden by 35/85, or 7/17, or 0.14118, or 14.118%. The drive to lower the company’s tax burden would cause competition and, therefore, lower premiums and lower co-pays in addition to creating alternative plans and their structure.

Sue Noble - February 23, 2019

Elect more Republicans.

Case Closed

Kenneth F Henkel - February 23, 2019

Ben Carson’s health savings accounts

“We make health savings accounts available to people from the day that they are born to the day that they die, at which time they can pass it on to their family.”


Peter A Walker - February 23, 2019

I do not believe that abortion after birth is anything other than murder.
Post birth abortion is not OK

Glynnda White - February 23, 2019

I skimmed the proposal from Heritage rather than giving it a full read as I have to cook breakfast, however my first concern is the factor that grant funding to states, while a good idea would be based on low income individuals living in a state. Have we not learned yet that the state will simply GAME the system by creating more low income individuals so they can get more money? Virtually every school system in the US already does this, school lunch program, to receive every dime of federal funding they can get? Another concern, I didn’t see ANYTHING in the proposal about not paying for non-citizen healthcare. There is no doubt that the current Medicare, Medicaid and Kid care systems nationwide are rife with fraud and costing the nation billions annually. Moving money to the states is a great idea and I am all for it, however we should be moving toward three goals…..grant money should be based on the US Citizen population of a state as of the last available Census, money that now comes from states to the Feds for health care ENDS….and no one who is NOT a US citizen be allowed to receive ANY government money for healthcare (or any other welfare, education or other benefit) Immigrants, illegals, refugees, etc should ALL be sponsored by private agencies that DO NOT receive government income of ANY kind. Charitable organizations should be private and privately funded.

Lennis Lammers - February 23, 2019

The republicans approach has always been to say that Government sponsored health care is far too expensive and will bankrupt the system. People do not respond to that. They need affordable health care. 2nd approach by Rep is to suggest removal of state boundaries and providing more competition to drive down costs. another non-starter. The republicans must come up with a no-kidding affordable health care system or the democrats will take over our country,
I believe government assistance will have to be part of the solution as bad as that may sound. Health care is the major issue in our country and the democrats are kicking our butts with their pipe dream of medicare for all..

Daryl L. Roberts - February 23, 2019

The federal government has no reason to be involved with health care. The purpose of the federal government is national defense and the regulation of interstate trade.

I agree with G. White where she says that block grants don’t make sense. My thought on block grants is that it is silly for the federal government to take my money so as to give it back to me. If a state government wants to pay for health care for individuals in the state, the voters in that state, through their state representatives, should debate and pay for any decisions made. No free lunch.

Phyllis Troia - February 23, 2019

Develop mechanisms to foster medical insurance groups which can collectively negotiate coverage with reputable company, just as employees and municipalities do. Insurance at its base as it was invented by the Quakers in the 17th century is shared risk. Allow high deductible plans with HSA accounts. These groups can be a bunch of neighbors, church communities, small companies. Keep government and illegal aliens and non citizens out of such groups. BTW, Companies such as BCBS are not for profit and are not publicly traded, have very strong oversight from state and feds

Lynda M. Fort - February 23, 2019

As I heard of NPR several weeks ago, the UN and USA are funding planned parenthood in Egypt, Why can’t they do the same for our women’s heath care in the US

Yvonne Anderson - February 23, 2019

Please tell us how we can rally locally against the Abortion Laws, especially those for Abortion of babies greater than 12 weeks gestation.
I can not let my inactivity be a sign of acquiescence for Abortion. I want to fight with every fiber of my being. I was told to abort my son when I developed meningitis during my 8th week of pregnancy. I ended up having to change obstetricians over this and had a healthy baby boy in 1988. My son is now a successful Wealth Manager in Los Angeles and volunteers every Saturday with the homeless with the Dream Center/ Angelus Temple, Pastor Matt Barnett.

Richard Young - February 23, 2019

Appeal to the public showing the long waiting times incompetent doctors and health workers of socialized or government run “healthcare”. Politicians cannot be trusted to put public welfare in front of possible monetary rewards.

Harry Sheilds - February 23, 2019

I would like to see a devil’s advocate article from Heritage. I hear some Canadians and English love there healthcare. I would like the pros and cons side from an unbiased and informed source.

Ruth Ann Smith - February 23, 2019


Terry Abblett - February 23, 2019

There is one issue that’s missing from the health care debate. We are working very hard to keep the government out of our health care, but willingly jumping on the mandated/forced vaccination bandwagon. There is ample scientific documentation out there to show that informed consent should be allowed in the decision whether or not to vaccinate. All the facts necessary for that decision can be found at the National Vaccine Information Center at http://www.NVIC.com.

James L Justice - February 23, 2019

I have practiced primary care internal medicine for 32 years. Please stop using the term “Health Care System”. That is as inaccurate as “undocumented immigrant”. There has never been a “Health Care System ” in America. What we have is a sick care industry. And the sick care industry and it’s partners in crime, the insurance companies, would love to have you in their factory (hospital), because that is how they make their money. The industry was robbing Americans bad enough before The Affordable ( yes , remember that is what it was called) Care Act passed. Americans must be held responsible for their unhealthy lifestyle choices and the attendant cost. Why should I be forced to pay for the medical problems of morbidly obese? Why should I pay higher premiums for car insurance when I have never caused an accident? Take my word for it, our system(?) will implode in the next 20 years if we try to provide “free” sick care to every irresponsible, smoking, alcoholic, junkie.

Gail Smith - February 23, 2019

What can we as American citizens do to change this mess.

Ron Renneberg - February 24, 2019

Politicians who believe Obamacare is the way to go, need to be removed (voted out )of office –the other way is, the President must force members of Congress on to Obamacare with an executive order. In either case, I don’t see this happening.

Irma Waldo - February 25, 2019

To start with, repeal Obama Care!

Frank Souers - February 26, 2019

If Medicare-for-All were to be enacted, the legislation should mandated that all elected or appointed politicians, including the President, Senators, Representatives, their respective staffs, and all government employees should be covered by the same legislation. Otherwise, it would be discriminatory against the general citizenry. This might encourage the legislators to be more circumspect about what they are enacting.

DrZ - February 28, 2019

I like your proposal because it leads us away from central-government control of our health system. The U.S. health system will always be a train wreck as long as control exists in Washington, D.C.
I applaud your use of HSAs and the promotion of Direct Primary Care. This are the first steps.

I would have added something on improving cost and performance transparency and the promotion of cash-only surgical centers which are pioneering the way towards high quality, lower cost surgery.

Part of the goal should be to get rid of first-dollar insurance/medicare coverage. Insurance should become – heavens – insurance to cover catastrophes and first dollar comes from an HSA.

There is a mis-perception among people in the U.S. as to what HSA are based on their experiences of the current HSA program. HSA should become central to our method of payment. Employers get out of the insurance business and contribute to employee’s HSAs. Ditto for the state and federal governments. People should have incentive to save and shop. HSAs should become part of a person’s estate.

Tom Stark - March 2, 2019

The federal interpretation of the “commerce clause” has been insanely broad to include things that never should have been permitted, but in the case of healthcare insurance they have ignored it for years. Insurance should be uniformly available across state lines. States have so many varied requirements that many companies decline to compete. This keeps costs high and blocks many companies from competing. Tort reform, purchase of insurance across state lines and turning medicare and medicaid over to the private market is a necessary part of any reform. The one issue that government has an interest in regulating is the liquidity of the company and its ability to meet all claims submitted to it. Pre-existing conditions and policy limits MIGHT be two additional areas that need some limited regulation, but restricting payouts for pre-existing conditions for three months would not be outrageous. Free markets and competition seldom result in increasing costs that have plaqued the insurance industry for the past ten years or so (when govt got too involved).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.