NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 18, 2008

Consumers are demanding a much greater role in decisions involving their health care, says Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute.

For the past six years, the U.S. health care sector has been moving toward more market-based solutions, introducing patient choice and competition into a system that has largely been dominated by top-down, centralized management, says Turner.  For example:

  • Consumers have new incentives to become partners in managing their health costs through financing options such as health savings accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).
  • Individuals and companies are saving money on health costs as a result.
  • Choice and competition have been introduced in public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, showing people can choose among competing health plans that have new incentives to offer better benefits at a lower cost.

The bottom line, says Turner, is that a market-based solution to the health care crisis is a win/win/win:

  • It is a win for the uninsured because millions more Americans would have the chance to buy health insurance.
  • It is a win for the states because they would have more flexibility to direct federal resources to meet the needs of citizens to get affordable health insurance.
  • It is a win for employees because they would have the opportunity to buy health insurance they can own and can take it with them from job to job, giving them more control over decisions involving their health insurance and health care.

Source: Grace-Marie Turner, "Consumers Know the Time is Right for Market-Based Health Care Reform," Heartland Institute, July 2008.


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