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Commentary

Commentary: How to Heal Health Care
Hillary Clinton, Bill Frist, Washington Post, 8-25-04

This op-ed calls for government to lead the way in modernizing health care markets through "federal investment in health information technology and quality standards", including "interoperability standards so systems can communicate with each other, privacy protections, targeted investment and payment systems that reward quality care."

Fair enough, and well said. But if consumers are to become the real drivers of high-quality care as Senators Frist and Clinton envision they need market leverage. And that means putting health care purchasing power directly into the hands of every American through universal Health Savings Accounts, along with tax credits for low-income Americans to buy their own health insurance. Until then, technology upgrades and operability standards won't benefit the stakeholders in the current system the providers and insurers who get paid whether care is good or bad, written in pencil and paper or transmitted via electrons. Until patients have the same power that consumers in every other market have, stakeholders won't have the incentives to provide better quality treatments and services.



Project FDA.
  
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