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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

Medicine for Medicaid
Tom Nerney, Regina E. Herzlinger, Wall Street Journal, 8-2-05

Herzlinger (a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute) and Nerney note that the best proposals for reforming Medicaid are being generated not from the federal government, but at the state level, where governors are embracing a wide range of market-based reforms. Herzlinger and Nerney then pinpoint the underlying principles behind these reforms:

Three characteristics are central to such programs: (1) liberating enrollees to manage their own health care purchases; (2) freeing providers to design innovative care programs, tailored for the unique needs of the recipients; and (3) enabling intelligent choice with new information and support.
For example, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's plan would liberate recipients with a budget sufficient to meet their particular health care needs, a catastrophic health insurance policy, and free preventive care. Enrollees could roll over unexpected annual funds. [Gov. Sanford] would enable intelligent choice by transforming the Medicaid agency from a health care purchaser and micro-manager to an educator and facilitator. [Florida Gov.] Jeb Bush's consumer-driven Medicaid program frees supply by encouraging innovations such as provider-sponsored, community-based health service systems.


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