Originally published 1/20/11 on Kaiser Health News
While reading “A New Definition of Health Care Reform” by James C. Capretta and Tom Miller, I was reminded of the old adage “if one can frame the debate, one wins the debate.”
The health reform debate, they say, is between those who would use government regulation to try to control growth of health care spending and those who would rely on cost-conscious consumers operating in a competitive market place. The right way to reform health care, they say, is not government regulation but rather by shifting to a defined-contribution system in which people would bear the full marginal costs of insurance they buy. Medicare beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients should be given vouchers for the purchase of health insurance. Employers should do the same with private employees. The recently enacted health reform legislation, they say, extends fee-for-service medicine. For that reason, it should be replaced.