The Atlantic has an interesting article on health care reform by self-professed democrat Daniel Goldhill. He asserts:
“To achieve maximum coverage at acceptable cost with acceptable quality, health care will need to become subject to the same forces that have boosted efficiency and value throughout the economy. We will need to reduce, rather than expand, the role of insurance; focus the government’s role exclusively on things that only government can do (protect the poor, cover us against true catastrophe, enforce safety standards, and ensure provider competition); overcome our addiction to Ponzi-scheme financing, hidden subsidies, manipulated prices, and undisclosed results; and rely more on ourselves, the consumers, as the ultimate guarantors of good service, reasonable prices, and sensible trade-offs between health-care spending and spending on all the other good things money can buy.”
His proposed solution:
“A more consumer-centered health-care system would not rely on a single form of financing for health-care purchases; it would make use of different sorts of financing for different elements of care-with routine care funded largely out of our incomes; major, predictable expenses (including much end-of-life care) funded by savings and credit; and massive, unpredictable expenses funded by insurance.”
The article details the specifics of his plan – some of which is great (like expanded HSA coverage) and some of which is not so great (like mandatory catastrophic insurance.) Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to see a comprehensive reform plan that doesn’t relinquish total control to government bureaucrats, approached in a thoughtful, rational manner.