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Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.

Commentary

Values-Driven Healthcare: Freedom of Conscience for the Consumer
Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Heritage Foundation, 10-25-05

Moffit and his colleagues point out that we are rapidly approaching an era where medical technologies will vastly expand opportunities for patient choice, but that we are locked into an insurance system that places health care decisions largely in the hands of employers and government agencies rather than individuals.

They argue that the U.S. should move its health care system into the twenty-first century by embracing consumers’ ability to manage their own health care decisions.

Reforming health care is about more than reducing costs and expanding individual coverage, important as those are. A primary goal of reform should be the achievement of compatibility between individuals’ personal values and their health care choices. Healthcare reform should create a real free market in which Americans are free to choose health coverage that is consistent with their ethical, moral, and religious convictions.

They propose two solutions for the current disconnect between health care and consumer choice. First, equalize the tax treatment (deductibility) for individuals to purchase their own health insurance, which would sever their reliance on employer-provided health care while also making health insurance much more affordable.

Second, create a national (or several regional) market(s) for health insurance so that individuals can compare health care plans and prices across state lines and choose the plan that best represents their own individual needs and values.



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