Free Minds & Free Markets

The Future of Health Care Is Innovation, Not Government Control: New at Reason

Viktor Levi / Dreamstime.comViktor Levi / Dreamstime.comWhat Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare-for-all," former President Obama's Affordable Care Act, and former House Speaker Paul Ryan's Medicare "premium support" model all have in common is an overemphasis on health insurance coverage—who needs it, who is eligible for it, at what level, and who should pay for it (private sector vs. state governments vs. federal government).

Yet insurance coverage and health care are two different things, observes Veronique de Rugy. A focus on the first one has resulted in an endless debate over which third party pays for people's health care bills. Whether your preference is the government or private insurers, both end up creating massive distortions and moral hazards, which then results in higher costs and poorer-quality health care. It's time to start thinking about how to foster the kind of revolutionary innovation in the health care industry that we've seen in other fields, like information technology. This requires allowing consumers to choose treatments, even high-risk ones. But it also requires innovation in the provision and payment of health care.


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