Former Bush Administration Official Outlines Health Care Proposal
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill on Wednesday at a Senate Finance Committee hearing outlined a proposal to reform the U.S. health care system, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
According to O'Neill, Congress should pass legislation that would require all U.S. residents with annual incomes of more than $30,000 to purchase catastrophic health insurance for themselves and their families. The federal government would use general revenue funds to purchase health insurance for U.S. residents with lower annual incomes, he said.
O'Neill added that Congress also should pass legislation to establish a commission to examine problems with health care prices and reimbursement practices and to require the federal government to develop national performance measures for health care facilities to help reduce medical errors. In addition, O'Neill said that the use of tax credits to address problems in the health care system is inadequate.
"When you use tax credits and deductions, unless they are refundable ... they're very inequitable, because the value of the credit or deduction depends on the level of income or wealth accumulation an individual has," he said in a telephone interview (Reston, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/9).