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1 ‘legal’ fix for nation’s broken health-care system?

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

As President Trump continues to pressure Congress to repeal Obamacare, which is failing across America, and as GOP senators continue to quibble over the details, it may appear that a resolution to one of the biggest catastrophes the nation is facing is in a galaxy far, far away.

Not so, says a Fox News commentator, author, columnist, and former Harvard medical student: Charles Krauthammer.

He explained on Tucker Carlson’s Fox show Tuesday that it would only require Congress to knock off one of the causes and a lot of things would become more clear.

His proposal is for Congress to address the sole topic of tort reform.

Accomplishing that, he explained, could make up to half a trillion dollars a year available for helping low-income people with their health-care costs.

At a minimum, he said, it would be “hundreds of billions of dollars.”

See his interview:

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His comments followed by only hours word from the Senate that GOP senators were unable to agree on a path forward to fix Obamacare, or kill it entirely and start over with a new repair plan.

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska

The last blow came when three Senate Republican women announced they would refuse to cooperate with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan for a straight-up vote to repeal Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, which has resulted in a dwindling pool of insurers offering consumers health insurance at skyrocketing prices.

What to today’s top authors have to say about Washington? Find out at the WND Superstore in “Socialism: A Clear and Present Danger,” “Throw Them All Out,” “Inside the Beltway,” “Capitol Punishment” and many more.

President Trump’s reaction was strong.

“Let Obamacare fail,” he said at the White House. “It’ll be a lot easier, and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.”

Three Republican senators owned it on Tuesday. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, each said they would not support a motion to proceed on the efforts to repeal without a ready-made replacement. McConnell was left without support for what has been called Plan C – the repeal and replace vote.

Just last year, two of the three – Capito and Murkowski – voted to approve the exact same bill. All three campaigned and won elections to their seats after saying they would repeal the legislation.

Krauthammer explained, “I think the first thing is to recognize a mistake that Obama and others have made in thinking you can revolutionize a system as unbelievably complex and interlinked as medicine.”

He said one change causes changes for “80 other things” and reorganizing the whole system at once means “you have no idea what the outcome is going to be.”

So Congress should try a piece-by-piece repair.

“The medical malpractice system is totally out of control. Everybody in the system knows it. It’s not just the outrageous judgments, not just the fact some people get millions of dollars, and others get nothing.”

He said that the lawyers all get rich.

Physicians are forced to practice “defensive medicine” because of the legal threats, and Krauthammer said estimates are that one-quarter of all procedures in hospitals, tests, etc. are done “to fend off the lawyers.”

“I know … I was there. I did the same thing. You have to do it,” he said..

He explained that the one quarter of procedures and tests that are done for legal reasons, not medical, total up to “massive” costs.

“We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars a year … half a trillion dollars a year,” he said.

“Imagine if you cut that in half, with a rational tort reform. You could use that money to subsidize the health insurance of every poor person in America,” he said. “The only reason the Democrats did not include it … in the bill of 2,000 pages, is because they are owned by the trial lawyers.”

He also suggested people should be allowed to buy insurance across state lines, the government should concern itself only with caring for the “very sick” and the rest of the population should get insurance regulated by the free market.

He also called Congress’ outcome on health care, an “epic fail.”

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On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence joined Trump in criticizing Congress for failing to advance one of the administration’s major legislative goals, seeming to portray allowing the current law to remain in place as untenable.

“Inaction is not an option,” Pence said in remarks to the National Retail Federation before the repeal-only plan, too, appeared to fail.

“Congress needs to step up. Congress needs to do their job, and Congress needs to do their job now.”

What to today’s top authors have to say about Washington? Find out at the WND Superstore in “Socialism: A Clear and Present Danger,” “Throw Them All Out,” “Inside the Beltway,” “Capitol Punishment” and many more.

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