To the Editor:
Recent developments with two federal judges ruling Obamacare unconstitutional and with this legislation having been repealed in the U.S. House of Representatives indicate the need for reform or replacement of Obamacare. Indeed, 71 percent of Missouri residents voted against the individual mandate in Obamacare last August.
It has been reasonably estimated that 20 percent of medical tests are unnecessary and done as defensive medicine. No serious healthcare reform is possible without tort reform.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that tort reform would save the government $58 billion annually.
My malpractice insurance had been steady for several years, but because the Democratic members of the Illinois Supreme Court last year ruled the 2005 malpractice reform law unconstitutional, my malpractice insurance rates have increased $8,000 this year.
The federal government is running unsustainable deficits and cannot afford costly new entitlement programs. Appropriate, cost-effective reform, in addition to tort reform, should include allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines, portability of insurance that would follow the patient from job to job, health savings accounts, high risk pools, and health associations which would allow individuals to purchase health insurance more reasonably.
Twenty-seven states are suing the Obama administration because Obamacare places unreasonable financial burdens on the states by increasing Medicaid enrollment, among other complaints.
On Feb. 3, the U.S. Senate voted 81-17 to repeal an Obamacare provision that required businesses to file 1099 tax forms any time they spent more than $600 per year with any other business. There are almost 2,000 grants of regulatory power to bureaucrats, in Obamacare.
The U.S. Supreme Court will eventually rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare. I believe the ruling will be held unconstitutional by a 5 to 4 vote. Better healthcare reform should control costs and preserve patient choice. Each step in the reform process should be done in the open with adequate input from all sides. The goal should be better healthcare, not more government control and higher taxes.
Edward Ragsdale, M.D.
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