Health Care Debate in the Senate

Earlier today, the Senate cleared the way for debate to begin on health care “reform.”

If this legislation addressed the distortions caused by the third-party payer model of health insurance (a model that is in place via government regulations and tax-code manipulations), then I could find myself supporting reform.  Thanks to third-party payer insurance and public programs, patients’ out-of-pocket expenses continue to climb despite the fact that their share of total health care costs have significantly declined over the years.

This perverse trend can only be reversed with free market reforms that make patients more responsible for the costs of the health care they consume.  It makes patients more cost-conscientious, and forces providers to offer competitive prices.  The implementation of health savings accounts has proven sucessful in this regard.

Unfortunately, the “reform” being proposed only reinforces the disastrous third-party model by mandating individuals by third-party health insurance from an “exchange” that mandates all sorts of services are covered, irregardless of whether an individual wants the particular service covered.  This individual mandate experiment is in place in Massachusetts.  The result?  Massachusetts has the highest insurance premiums in the country.

Not exactly my idea of health care”reform.”

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