Elected officials who are really interested in improving health care need only to consider the following:

1. Pass tort reform, which would rid the medical industry of frivolous lawsuits, which drive up the cost of health care by forcing doctors to order unnecessary tests.

2. Allow individuals to buy health insurance across state lines just like auto and home insurance. This would create the competitive pricing we need.

3. All individuals should be allowed to deduct the cost of all forms of health insurance from their tax returns, just as corporations have done for so many years. It's time we leveled the playing field.

4. Encourage doctors to practice in needy areas by paying back a portion of their education costs for each year they practice in these areas.

5. Any doctor who performs pro bono medical services for the indigent should be able to deduct the amount that would be charged for such services from his or her tax return using Medicare scale.

That's my health-reform bill. It would not cost as much and would be about three pages long.

Paul Stutman