A Good Diagnosis Leads to Better Treatment

The United States health care system has problems. But perhaps the most misleading charge against the U.S. health care system is that it is a “free market” system at all.  In fact, the U.S. government spends more per person on health care than all but two other countries (Norway and Luxemburg) and has a highly regulated medical care and health insurance system that doesn’t function like a traditional market. (See Forbes)  

It’s important to understand the problems and the strengths of the system.  Misleading statistics drive many to conclude that the U.S. fails to deliver quality care and that more Americans have trouble accessing needed health care and preventative services than do citizens in other countries.  This simply isn’t the case.

We can do better, but we need to correctly diagnosis the problems in our health care system so that we can prescribe the right solutions.  

Our health shouldn't be a partisan issue, and the increasing costs created by this bill aren't politics, they're math.  

Most of us want patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and their corporate friends to be in charge of their health care choices.  We want to be in control of our decisions about our own bodies and medical options.  

We want quality, affordable care, and innovation that keeps giving us opportunities to have better lives.  We need an approach to solving these problems that isn't divisive and extremist, as this unpopular law has been, but that brings us together, listens to what we want, and will help fix the very real problems.  We can do this.


What You Need to Know:

Americans deserve affordable, quality health care:

  1. Our health care system was rife with problems before the passage of the 2010 health law.  President Obama and his colleagues in Congress were right to be concerned about the access and affordability problems some Americans face.
  2. Americans should be able to access quality, timely health care.  Every person should be able to have a good relationship with an available doctor, effective and affordable treatments, and a financial plan for unexpected health problems.
  3. Americans shouldn’t have to worry that health problems will lead them to bankruptcy, or that the loss of a job or change in health status will result in their loss of insurance.  Continuity, clarity, and price transparency are important improvements that our health insurance system needs.
  4. For Americans in dire situations, a government safety net should be available.  But that safety net should be strong and supportive – not weak and unreliable as it is today!  We should reform Medicare and Medicaid to give beneficiaries more options and better access to the care they need.


But we should also be realistic about the costs, and the consequences of government action:

  1. Government action often produces a host of unintended consequences.  The new federal health law complicates the situation by attempting to solve specific problems with broad, one-size-fits-all mandates.  
  2. Mandated benefits, and the mandated inclusion of more customers at below-market rates, results in higher rates for everyone.  Attempts to subsidize the health costs of one group of people by overcharging another group simply results in inefficiency and overuse.
  3. Government regulations can get in the way of quality health care.  Doctors already complain about spending too much time on paperwork and too little time with patients.  More administrative burdens for health care professionals will further strain their resources and mean they can see fewer patients.
  4. Overregulation and artificial price controls in health care disincentivizes improvements in procedures and stifles innovation.  Without the next wave of innovative, potentially life-saving treatments, medical progress is impeded.  Entrepreneurs and scientists should be encouraged – not punished – when their work results in a profit.  Their work also results in better health care and healthier people.

We need balance. We need honest numbers and honest accounting so we can find real solutions to get back on course. This isn’t about politics; it’s simple math. And we can do it, if we work together.

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