Health care wisdom
The web this morning offers a bevy of top-shelf commentaries on the health care debate, and I’d like to call readers’ attention to some of the finest.
We’ve got John Stossel:
I keep reading about health-care “reform,” but I have yet to see anyone explain how the government can make it easier for more people to obtain medical services, control the already exploding cost of those services and not interfere with people’s most intimate decisions.
You don’t need to be a Ph.D. in economics to understand that government cannot do all three things. (Judging by what Paul Krugman writes, a Ph.D. may be an obstacle.)
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.
And Thomas Sowell:
What is both dangerous and mindless is rushing a massive new medical-care scheme through Congress so fast that lawmakers do not even have time to read it before voting on it. Legislation that is far less sweeping in its effects can get months of hearings before congressional committees, followed by debates in the Senate and the House of Representatives, with all sorts of people voicing their views in the media and in letters to Congress, while ads from people on both sides of the issue appear in newspapers and on television.
If this new medical scheme is so wonderful, why can’t it stand the light of day or a little time to think about it?
The fine work of these three (and a whole lot of others) over the past several weeks is a big part of the reason why the Right has already won the policy argument over health care reform.
Of course, winning the policy argument doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to win the political fight. On that front, there remains much work to do.