As in so many others area of government, Mark believes we should look for ways of getting more out of the government that we pay for – and this is especially the case in government healthcare. As a country we now spend more than twice the average of other industrialized nations, but have far poorer healthcare outcomes on a host of categories ranging from infant mortality to average life span.
For this reason, Mark has been a long time advocate of market-based solutions to healthcare reform. His administration was the first in the country to receive a waiver from the federal government to offer a statewide system of Health Savings Accounts to the Medicaid population.
He believes that healthcare coverage should be portable and that we should ultimately move toward a primary payer system given it was oddly the wage and price controls of World War II that originally coupled employment and healthcare. As noted earlier he has long been a proponent of legal reform as a way of avoiding much of the defensive medicine now currently forced on doctors, the medical community and patients. As governor he fought the legislative body’s attempts to broaden medical eligibility on a host of categories believing that it did not make common sense to add to programs we were already unable to pay for and sustain.
At the state level Medicaid was nine percent of our budget 10 years ago, 19 percent today and on our way to 29 percent in ten years. The federal government’s numbers are even worse and though our country has the finest healthcare treatment system in the world, its cost and access remain a problem. Consequently there have been many proposed solutions – Obamacare, with its $503 billion in new taxes and fees over the next 10 years, being the latest. Mark would work with others in Congress to repeal Obamacare because of its costs and inconsistency with market principals.