- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The health care bill enacted in March was partisan and crafted behind closed doors. It gave special deals for votes and did not permit debate or amendments to the final bill.

Major flaws in the legislation warrant its repeal. These include a mandate that everyone purchase insurance or be fined - a provision a federal judge has determined to be unconstitutional - and that businesses provide insurance or be fined. Physicians are prohibited from building or expanding services in their hospitals, and unconfirmed appointees are empowered to write rules and regulations.

The Republicans have a reasonable, comprehensive approach, which includes repeal for the reasons listed above and retaining the few items in the current bill that have bipartisan support. These include coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, the ability for children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and the shrinking of expenses in the Medicare prescription doughnut hole.

They should add these important items: tort reform, insurance competition across state lines and restoring Medicare Advantage and health savings accounts. With a number of Republican physicians in Congress who are patient advocates, a replacement health care bill can be approved - one that will cut costs and improve patient care. Democrats should join this effort.


MARVIN L. HOOVIS

Centerville, Mass.