NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 4, 2008

It's no longer news that at least 47 million Americans lack health insurance, and an additional 50 million are "underinsured" -- meaning whatever ails you is excluded, says the Wichita Eagle.

And as the economy hemorrhages more than 200,000 jobs every month, insurance costs soar, and with employers large and small unable to afford to insure their employees, an employer-based system has become a nonstarter, says Amy Isaacs, national director of Americans for Democratic Action.


  • But we seldom hear that private health insurance wastes $350 billion every year.
  • Nearly one-third of our health care costs are eaten up by overhead: marketing, billing, profits, denying coverage, and hassling patients and doctors.
  • While 30 cents of every dollar of health costs pays for overhead, Medicare costs 3 cents on the dollar.

As a new Congress begins to look at health care insurance options, some of the members are already discussing proposals for a single-payer, universal health care plan.  That's not the best solution.  Senators and representatives would be much better off focusing on health care solutions that effectively bring down health care costs, expand access to quality care, and reward patients for shopping around, says the Eagle.

Instead of wasting time on a system that limits our choices, creates long waiting times, and has the potential to jeopardize our health, the United States should opt for a system of innovation and choice. Congress should act now to let American consumers -- not federal bureaucrats -- make their health care decisions.  When we force medical providers to compete on price, we're all much better off, says Devon Herrick, a health economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Source: Editorial, "Pro-con: Should Congress move quickly to pass universal health care plan?" Wichita Eagle, December 4, 2008.

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