Question of the Day

First, we need to replace the existing tax breaks for health insurance with a national tax credit system. The individual health-care tax credit would be refundable and available to every American for the purchase of health insurance and to offset out of pocket expenses, regardless of where they work. Second, we create a national market for insurance, allowing individuals and families to purchase affordable health-care policies across state lines from any insurers licensed in any of the states where they wish to purchase such coverage. Third, turn all government subsidies to hospitals and other institutions for uncompensated care into a pool to fund vouchers for low-income, uninsured persons to help them buy affordable coverage. Finally, we insist that every American take personal responsibility for their health care, either by buying at least a catastrophic insurance policy or by self insuring and posting a bond to guarantee payment for hospital costs if they should end up in the emergency room.

Debra Ness

President, National Partnership for Women and Families

A system that delivers the right care, at the right time, for the right reasons and at the right cost to everyone, regardless of income, gender, race or ethnic background. We have the resources to ensure that all Americans have access to quality health care, but they don't today because we have not made access to quality care a priority or used our resources effectively.

According to the Institute of Medicine, right now one-third of all health care spending results from poor quality, unnecessary care and medical errors. Billions of dollars are wasted while millions of people are uninsured, and preventable medical errors claim more lives than breast cancer, AIDS and motor vehicle accidents. We need the political will to make major changes in the ways we deliver and pay for care.

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