The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

September 20, 2012

Your View: Alternative

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Paul Ryan’s presence on the presidential ticket has made Medicare a central campaign issue.

While the Ryan/Romney plan is better than Obama’s health care plan, they all have one thing in common: They leave decision-making power in the hands of Congress and Washington bureaucrats. That’s a mistake.

We need to take the decision away from Congress — and we have already started. In 2011, with the help of my colleagues in the Missouri House and Senate, I passed the Health Care Compact, which grants our state permission to partner with other states and regain control over health care, including both Medicaid and Medicare. It would provide block grants at the current level of spending. In addition it creates the framework necessary for purchasing health insurance across state lines.

The Health Care Compact is an alternative to a one-size-fits-all solution from Washington.

States could choose different solutions. Vermont might opt for a single-payer program, while Texas could choose a market-based system. Six states have joined Missouri and have adopted the Health Care Compact.

Regardless of who wins the presidential election this November, Congress should allow the now seven states in the compact the flexibility to do what is right and responsible for their residents.

Rep. Eric Burlison

Springfield

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