NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 13, 2006

While American medicine has become both ground breaking and revolutionary over the past 50 years, angst over American health care has never been greater.  That angst stems largely from a health care system addicted to outmoded and discredited economic ideas, says Dr. David Gratzer, author of "The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care."

Gratzer outlines some of the current problems of the U.S. health care system.  For example:

  • Nationally, state spending on Medicaid exceeds state spending on K-12 education.
  • Cost outlays for Medicare are projected to consume a third of all federal income tax by 2030.
  • The Federal Drug Administration's (FDA) excessive regulations -- since 1964 -- have increased the total time required for drug development to more than 15 years.

The system can be improved, says Gratzer, and he outlines a blueprint for revolutionary change:

  • America needs to make health care truly individual and portable, mainly through changes in the tax code and trimming of regulations.
  • Downsize the FDA and return it to its original mission -- judging a drug's safety, and de-emphasizing "efficacy."
  • Shore up Medicare, in part by allowing today's workers to save for the health expenses in their elderly years.   

Source: David Gratzer, "The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care," Encounter Books, New York, October 2006.

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