NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Presenting Alternatives to Obamacare

July 18, 2012

Members of the House of Representatives would be wise to read a recent book on solving the health care crisis before presenting their alternatives to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

National Center for Policy Analysis President John C. Goodman outlines one potential solution in his recent book "Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis".

  • The solution Goodman outlines is built around tax-deductible health savings accounts, where people can save for routine health expenditures.
  • These health savings accounts can be combined with high-deductible insurance for unpredictable major expenses, and are more similar to auto or home insurance.
  • Goodman's proposal would also allow low-income Americans to receive vouchers to set up savings accounts and buy such insurance.

This alternative would make people more aware of prices and how much they spend, thus lowering health care costs.  In today's health care market, government and insurance companies are the entities who see the prices - their incentives are very different from those of patients. Under Goodman's proposal, people can manage their own routine health care dollars out of health savings accounts, so they can decide if they want to spend a certain amount of money on tests, among other things.

Obamacare takes America in the opposite direction.  It brings more government regulations and allows institutions to decide what treatments people should have.

Under Obamacare, a payment advisory board would decide what treatments are cost-effective. It would take away the freedom of doctors and patients to decide for themselves on courses of treatment by forbidding certain drugs, devices and procedures from reaching the market.  Congress ought to look to consumer-driven health care as a replacement for Obamacare.

Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, "Presenting Alternatives to Obamacare," The Washington Examiner, July 10, 2012.

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