What Is Consumer-Directed Health Care?

Commentary by John C Goodman

To control health care costs, someone must choose between health care and other uses of money. The value of most health care is experienced subjectively, as is the value of other goods and services. No one is in a better position to make these subjective trade-offs than patients themselves. The current system not only systematically denies patients the opportunity to make such choices, it distorts the incentives of providers in the process. Chronic patients in particular would be much better off if they could manage more of their own health care dollars and if providers were free to compete to meet their needs.

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