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Real Choice? It's Off Limits in Health Bills

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A New York Times article describing additional options for health care that increase choice
1 review about Real Choice? It's Off Limits in Health Bills

Is additional choice part of the solution in health care?

  • Aug 26, 2009
  • by
In this article, David Leonhart argues that we need to provide consumers with additional choice as part of any solution to the health care crisis.   He starts by describing the broken state of the existing insurance plans, and then goes through the incentives that lead hospitals, employers, and insurers to offer such poor service and limited options.   

He claims that the existing health care plan doesn't address the core issue of providing more choice, because the special interests involved have too much of a stake in defending the status quo.  Even though the average family spends $15000 a year on health care, the vast majority of that is spent in the form of hidden taxes, so we aren't as outraged as we should be by this waste, and have allowed special interests to dictate the overall shape of the health care plan.

Rather than just griping about the current plan, David Leonhart also shows some of the proposals out there that are more radical, but do actually provide more choice.  He specifically mentions the Wyden-Benett bill, which would give people a voucher for as much as their employer currently spends on health insurance, and would let them use this voucher to pick from a variety of insurance plans that would have to compete for those dollars.

As a proponent of choice and competition, I buy the author's argument that additional choice must be part of the solution.  He acknowledges the potential downsides of giving people a choice when the options are so complex, but feels that the downside is outweighed by the upside of introducing real competition.
Bob Bennett Ron Wyden

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Ron Wyden
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