Steve Beren For Congress (WA - 7th CD)

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STEVE BEREN ON HEALTHCARE

Government-run health care would be a disaster.  It would lead to a massive tax increase, with nothing to show for it.  In fact, government-run health care would actually have negative effects.

It would increase bureaucracy and delays, it would drive up costs, and it would decrease the quality of care.  It would drive some of the best medical professionals out of the field, and it would discourage talented young people from entering the field in the first place.  Perhaps most of all, it would lead to a reduction in services offered.  The resulting rationing of health care services would have devastating effects, especially on the poor and the elderly.

Yet, the Democratic Party – from my opponent Jim McDermott to Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton – favor government-run health care over reliance on free market solutions.  McDermott in particular is one of the most extreme proponents of the government taking over health care.  But the last thing we need is to follow the European path of government interference, bureaucracy, and massive taxation.

The priority in health care reform is putting individuals in more direct contact with providers, reducing the role of insurance companies, government regulators, employers, and attorneys.  The current system, with heavy government and middleman involvement, is bureaucratic, inefficient, and a primary cause of rising health care costs.

There should be increased competition among health insurance carriers to provide consumers more options and more variation in benefit plans.  This will lead to coverage that is less expensive, based on individual need, and with more choices and options for the health care consumers.

The medical expense tax deduction should be greatly increased, and all drug purchases and insurance premiums should be fully tax-deductible.  Eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts should be greatly expanded.  Consumers should be allowed to buy health insurance across state lines.  Congress should pass tort reform to restrict excessive awards (including punitive damage awards) and to eliminate frivolous lawsuits.

We should eliminate federal income taxes for everybody making less than $25,000 a year, and we should greatly reduce taxes for everybody else.  This could be done, for example, by raising the personal exemption to $25,000 for each individual family member ($100,000 for a family of four). 

Limited government leads to lower taxes, which is better for families and property owners.  With lower taxes, liberty is increased because individuals and families have more of their own money - increased take-home pay - for their needs: health insurance, food, clothing, housing, education, and retirement.

When people are able to provide for themselves, they are more likely to achieve prosperity and less dependent on government programs.  In turn, this leads to further reduction in government spending, allowing the remaining money to be targeted to legitimate needs, such as military veterans, orphans, and people with severe disabilities 

ENDORSEMENTS: MEDICAL & DENTAL PROFESSIONALS FOR BEREN
John R. Vasko, Jr., M.D.
Steve Klein, M.D.
Arthur Coday, Jr., M.D.
George M. Roper, M.A., L.P.C.
Randy McLeary, DDS
Jerry Hedman
Mary P. Coday, M.D.

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