NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 24, 2007

Many health care analysts say universal coverage plans won't do anything to lower the cost of health care.  In fact, they say, these schemes tend to do the opposite and strip individuals of choice in the process.

A recently convened panel by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, a financial consulting service, called universal health insurance coverage "an economic and moral imperative." According to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, the firm's policy research arm:

  • Deloitte has developed a $70 billion plan to pay for universal coverage nationwide, according to a June 15 article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  • The plan would have the federal government pay $24 billion a year and consumers about $94 a month in premiums.

But Devon Herrick, a health care reform expert at the National Center for Policy Analysis, said universal programs, no matter how promising or attractive, don't actually lower costs.

According to Herrick:

  • If a health plan is really to improve health while decreasing costs, it has to give patients economic incentives to lead healthy lifestyles.
  • Consumer-driven health care gives patients a financial incentive to spend wisely and maintain health to prevent costly treatments that hit them where it hurts--in their wallets.

"None of the prominent universal health care proposals does anything to alleviate spending because none would have patients choose between health care and other uses for their money. Until patients control more of their own health care dollars, they will have no incentive to rein in spending," concludes Herrick.

Source:  Karla Dial, "Experts Warn Against Socialized Health Care," Heartland Institute, August 1, 2007.


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