health care reform
In this month’s American Enterprise Institute Health Care Policy Outlook I have a paper describing a plan for fixing America’s health care system that uses market principles, consumer choice, and fiscal discipline, rather than the government-centered approach of Obamacare.
But while more Americans are against Obamacare than for it, polls also show that a strong majority of the electorate want the very real problems in the health system fixed—just without the massive expansion of governmental power and spending that characterize Obamacare. This strong impulse for a positive reform agenda could undermine a repeal effort if there is no realistic program being readied to replace Obamacare.
Fortunately for Obamacare’s opponents, much of the work needed to construct a viable alternative was already done many years ago by a band of economists and health policy experts who have long argued that a market-based approach to reform would deliver far better results than one managed by the federal government, as Obamacare would be.
You can read the rest of the paper online at the AEI website, here.
Last month, I was very pleased to be invited to appear on Brian Lehrer’s radio show (public radio in NYC) to talk about an alternative vision for health care reform, one that is very different from the vision embodied in Obamacare. The invitation to appear on the show was prompted by the piece Bob Moffit and I wrote for National Affairs magazine, entitled “How to Replace Obamacare.” The discussion focused on the reforms that are necessary to build a functioning marketplace for health care in the United States.
In addition, the American Enterprise Institute (where I am a visiting fellow) recently asked me to record a series of brief video remarks outlining the major features of a replacement plan for Obamacare. Those remarks closely follow the points I made with Bob in our National Affairs piece. AEI has posted the recorded videos on its YouTube channel.
Over at The Weekly Standard, I have a new article up with National Affairs editor Yuval Levin on the importance of health care reform to the 2012 election:
The outlines of ... reform have been clear for some time. What’s needed is a functioning marketplace in health care, with cost-conscious consumers seeking and finding more value for their money. To get there, the government must stop subsidizing excess in all of the major health care settings — Medicare, Medicaid, and employer-sponsored plans. Instead, the government should provide fixed levels of financial support toward insurance and care that patients can control. The government would oversee the marketplace, but resources would be allocated based on consumer choices and preferences.
This reform would bring costs under control and head off the impending fiscal crisis. But it’s not simply a fiscal reform. It would also transform American health care for the better. Health care and insurance providers would have to become far more efficient and productive to avoid losing market share to competitors, and they would be forced to focus on the needs and desires of patients, not government payers.
For Republicans committed to maintaining a vibrant and free society, there is no choice but to make genuine health care reform the centerpiece of their domestic agenda. If the health care debate is lost, then the fight for limited government is lost as well.
That means that the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare and to fix our health care entitlements must be well underway by 2013. And that, in turn, means that a Republican president must be elected in 2012 having run on a platform of real health care reform. For those who aspire to be that Republican president, the time to develop that platform is now.
Read the full article here.