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What Romney's proposals would do

May 13, 2011

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▸Allow different states to experiment with solutions that best suit their residents. States would have the responsibility, flexibility, and resources to care for citizens who are poor, uninsured, or chronically ill. States could expand health care access to low-income Americans by block-granting funds for Medicaid and the uninsured. States would have resources to help the chronically ill — both to improve their access to health care and to improve the functioning of insurance markets for others.

▸Individuals would have a choice between the current system and a tax deduction to buy insurance on their own. The tax code would equalize the treatment of those who purchase insurance on their own and those who purchase it through employers. Federal regulation would focus on making markets work. Individuals with preexisting conditions who are continuously covered for a specified period may not be denied insurance. Individuals and small businesses could form purchasing pools to lower insurance costs and improve choice. Barriers to the sale of insurance across state lines would be removed.

▸There would be a cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice litigation. Innovation grants to states would encourage additional reforms, such as alternative dispute resolution or health care courts.

▸Health care would be made more like a consumer market through provision of better information about quality and cost to consumers, the strengthening of health savings accounts, and the use of such funds to purchase insurance.