Implementing Mr. Obama’s reforms would literally be worse than doing nothing.
The president’s camp is quick to claim that his critics have not offered a viable alternative and would prefer to do nothing. But that argument couldn’t be further from the truth.
Rather than expanding the role of government in the health-care market, Congress should implement a patient-centered approach to health-care reform. A patient-centered approach focuses on the patient-doctor relationship and empowers the patient and the doctor to make effective and economical choices.
A patient-centered health-care reform begins with individual ownership of insurance policies and leverages Health Savings Accounts, a low-premium, high-deductible alternative to traditional insurance that includes a tax-advantaged savings account. It allows people to purchase insurance policies across state lines and reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. It reallocates the majority of Medicaid spending into a simple voucher for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. And it reduces the cost of medical procedures by reforming tort liability laws.
By empowering patients and doctors to manage health-care decisions, a patient-centered health-care reform will control costs, improve health outcomes, and improve the overall efficiency of the health-care system.
Congress needs to focus on reform that promotes what Americans want most: immediate, measurable ways to make health care more accessible and affordable without jeopardizing quality, individual choice, or personalized care.