Good editorial on malpractice here. And another good one on selling health insurance across state lines here.
If the law that allowed inter state sale of health insurance also specified that the insurance offered only had to comply with the law of the home state, then the state mandate problem would go away. Insurance companies only have to comply with the mandates of their home state. Some state in the union has fewer mandates and hence cheaper premiums than the rest. Companies based in that state will have a competitive advantage over companies based in high mandate states.
If we just fixed malpractice and interstate sale of insurance we would lower health care costs a lot. Certainly enough progress for one year.