Focus Point - South African MSAsCommentary by Pete du Pont
November 30, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. It only seems like yesterday we equated South Africans with Genghis Kahn and Ivan the Terrible. Now, should be learning from them.
While we're mired in a debate over endorsing the least awful Health Care Reform, South Africans have taken an American idea -- well, to be modestly proud, an ncpa idea -- and made it law. And the results have been spectacular.
South Africa has made Medical Savings Accounts available to everybody -- not to a handful, the way we did in 1996, limiting them to 100,000 people. So in south africa, it's 4.6 million people -- and growing. In fact, under the Mandela Government, South Africa became the freest market for health insurance anywhere in the world.
MSAs are simple: Give people control over their health care dollars, and they'll spend them better than in any other system. How ironic that South Africa, once castigated for restricting personal liberty, has outdone everybody -- including us -- in one of the most critical areas of public policy.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Trucking.