The longer the health care debate goes on, the more I become convinced that the American system needs fundamental reform. We need to transition away from a fee-for-service system to one that directs incentives toward better care, not more procedures. We need to move away from the employer-based system, which is eroding year by year. We need to move toward a more transparent system, in which people see the consequences of their choices.For those who espouse freedom, why not this choice?
I’ve also become convinced that the approach championed by Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, is the best vehicle for this sort of change. The Wyden approach —first introduced in a bill with Robert F. Bennett, Republican of Utah, and now pared down to an amendment to the current bills—would combine choice with universal coverage.
People with insurance could stay with their existing health plans. But if they didn’t like the plans their employer offered, they could take the money their employer spends, add whatever they wanted to throw in, and shop for a better option on a regulated exchange. People without insurance would get subsidies to shop at the exchanges.
Americans would have real choices. The vigorous exchanges would reward providers and insurers that are efficient, creative and innovative.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Being for the Public Option VII
David Brooks, conservative columnist for the New York Times, is one who I have followed for many years. While I do not always agree with Brooks, he is typically thoughtful and fair. Here is the opening of his very thoughtful Op-Ed piece today.