Instead of interfering in private innovation, Washington needs to let new ideas thrive.
It is time to get serious about improving the quality of our country's health care system and lowering its cost for hardworking American families. We must rescue the system from its current path towards cost-driven and ineffective patient care. Imagine how confusing and troublesome it would be to have to get appointments with up to 14 different doctors to receive adequate treatment. Yet unfortunately, this experience is all too common for many Americans. Reforms can significantly improve health care quality and lower health care costs in the long run--but only if we reform both the way we deliver and pay for medical care.
Washington can take important steps now to fix one of the biggest problems in our health care system: Medicare's broken fee-for-service structure. This method of payment encourages providers to see as many patients and prescribe as many treatments as possible. The program does nothing to reward providers who keep patients healthy. These misaligned incentives drive up costs and hurt patient care. The new health care law unfortunately did nothing to address these problems.
The most important thing that Washington needs to understand is that there is no single solution for every family or every patient. Unfortunately, when we mandate funds for a specific purpose like health insurance, many people are confronted with the reality of fewer choices and higher costs.