What is the formula for sustainable healthcare reform?

Published on May 18, 2009 at 3:17 PM · 1 Comment

A new report, released today by the Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress and authored Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, makes the fiscal and political case for bipartisan healthcare reform.

Holtz-Eakin addresses dysfunctions in the existing healthcare delivery system; provides solutions to expanding access to affordable private health insurance in an incremental and fiscally responsible manner; and shows how improving market-based options will lead to better consumer access to information on healthcare quality. He argues that the only way to fix our broken healthcare system is through reforms that incentivize competition and pay for quality care.

Principle 1: It's about value. Any reform that does not address low-value care and cost growth will fail. Reforms consisting of a mandate to purchase insurance, in the absence of changes to the growth in health-care spending, would become increasingly expensive.

Anticipated reforms:

  • Medicare and Medicaid payment reforms
  • reduce payment for readmissions and other low-quality care
  • reduce the subsidy in Medicare for high-income individuals
  • medical malpractice reform
  • Development of a pathway for follow-on biologics.

Principle 2: A rising tide of quality insurance. The focus on covering the uninsured should be on a process that leads to increasing insurance. This is very different from an immediate move to universal coverage or other massive expansion. State-based approaches are the recommended vehicle for finding the best way to cover the uninsured.

Principle 3: Private money, private insurance. Increasing coverage does not mean larger government programs. Instead, it should mean better and broader private health insurance for the U.S. population. Accordingly, there should be a firewall that does not permit new taxes or other private resources (fees, costs of complying with mandates, etc.) to be devoted to a "tax and spend" government-centric health-care reform.

Anticipated reforms for Principles 2 and 3:

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  1. thelma stanfield thelma stanfield United States says:

    The government has already got our money we paid them for years. Now they have given our money to women who keep on having kids and they won't work nor do they know who the Dads are!. So us old people have to give up what we worked for to take care of people who do not deserve our money. Medicade was a way for people who were born with disabilities that are no fault of their own. It was for people who were injured through no fault of there own. I am mad all the way through to my bones. I'm old I live on what I have earned. No one gave me ziltch!. Make it hard for these lazy people to take from the old and give to them. Send these people back over the border let them finance there own!

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