For my write-up today on This Is Herman Cain, my focus will be on health care. In my latest reading, Herman Cain made some of the same points that he made earlier in the book about this topic. I'd like to quote a passage from earlier in the book because I think that it's clearer, plus it raises points that I'd like to address.
On page 179,
Cain says the following:
"Looser pay laws would be a great start!
And loosening the restrictions on health care savings accounts would
help to empower Americans to save and invest their own money to expand
their options for care. I believe that we need to level the playing
field by allowing the deductibility of health insurance premiums,
regardless of whether they are purchased by the employer or the
employee. This would shift ownership of one's health care back to where
it belongs, with the individual."
I'll also quote what Herman
Cain says on page 209: "Right now the employer gets a deduction but the
employee doesn't get a deduction----and if you level the playing field
such that it doesn't matter who pays for it, you get a tax deduction for
your health insurance."
On this blog, I've questioned
whether health savings accounts are an adequate solution to health care
problems, for there are people whose accounts have been wiped out due to
the high cost of health care. At the same time, I do believe that, if
there are things that the federal government (or state governments) is
doing that hinder health savings accounts or discourage the individual
purchase of health insurance, then the government should stop doing
those things. (But I am open to correction on this, for I do not know
what the rationale for those laws is at the outset.) But that should be part of a broader package of comprehensive health care reform.
I'm open to ideas that conservatives (including Cain) have proposed for
health care reform: tort reform, allowing competition across state
lines, health savings accounts, encouraging the individual purchase of
health insurance, etc. I think that they can make things better and
somewhat cheaper, but I'm not sure that they would fully tackle the
problem of high health care costs.