Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Better Idea for Health Care

"If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be here to listen. My door is always open."

--President Obama, Address to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care, Sept. 2009

"[I]f anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know."

--President Obama, State of the Union Speech, Jan. 2010

John F. Cogan, a senior fellow at Sanford University's Hoover Institution; Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School; and Daniel Kessler, a professor of business and law at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution have a better idea for health care reform:

To bring down costs, we need to change the incentives that govern spending:

  • Right now, $5 out of every $6 of health-care spending is paid for by someone other than the person receiving care -- insurance companies, employers, or the government.
  • Individuals are insulated from the reality of what their decisions cost.
  • This breeds overutilization of low-value health care and runaway spending.

To reduce the growth of costs, individuals must take greater responsibility for their health care, and health insurers and health care providers must face the competitive forces of the market. Three policy changes will go a long way to achieving these objectives, say Cogan, Hubbard and Kessler:

  • Eliminate the tax code's bias that favors health insurance over out-of-pocket spending.
  • Remove state-government barriers to purchasing and providing health services.
  • Reform medical malpractice laws.

According to Cogan, Hubbard and Kessler, these three changes will reduce health care costs by over $100 billion per year and permanently reduce the number of uninsured by up to 13 million. (emphasis added)

Read their WSJ editorial, "A Better Way to Reform Health Care" and then alert President Obama and your legislators that moral and practical alternatives to their coercive plans DO exist.

He said he would listen.


No comments: