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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

Confusing Choices in Medicare?
Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute, 11-28-05

Turner argues that the media’s incessant carping over the complexity of the Medicare drug benefit has made one of the program’s great virtues out to be its damning flaw.

Everywhere seniors turn, they find newspapers and airwaves filled with warnings that the new Medicare drug benefit is overwhelmingly confusing -- certainly discouraging words for seniors who both want and need this new benefit.

But seniors should not give up. One reason they are confused is because they have more and better choices than anyone anticipated when the drug benefit was being crafted by Congress. …
The trade off for seniors in having choices of drug benefits is…having to make choices. It could have been simple: The government could have told seniors what they would pay and which drugs they would get -- maybe their drugs would be on the drug list, and maybe not. But as it is, the choices available require them to pick the plan that is best for them.

Turner’s point is simple, but powerful. More choices may require more thought, but they will pay off in the long-run. We welcome these choices in other areas of our lives (think housing, education, and retirement plans) and should embrace them in health care as well.



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