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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

Keep Government Out
Daniel P. Kessler, R. Glenn Hubbard, John F. Cogan, AEI Online, 1-13-06

Hubbard, dean of the Columbia University Business School, and his co-authors argue that our health care debate is handicapped by the conventional wisdom that itís a zero sum game.

A handful of policy changes that harness the power of markets for health services have the potential to give patients and their physicians more control over health-care choices, create more health-insurance options, lower health costs, reduce the number of uninsured persons--and give workers a pay increase to boot. Ö
Greater reliance on individual choice and free markets are the solutions to what ails our health-care system. As a starter, we recommended three main proposals to correct the harmful effects of current government policy:
∑ Make all out-of-pocket health-care expenses deductible against income taxes for everyone who has at least catastrophic insurance--whether or not they itemize their deductions;
∑ Allow qualified insurance companies to sell insurance nationwide, free from politically motivated state mandates and other costly state-imposed regulatory practices; and
∑ Set reasonable caps on damages for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases.

Their program represents a common-sense, market friendly approach to health care. Congress and the Bush Administration should take up its recommendations as a basis for national health care reform.



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