A New Place for Health Care Policy Debate

About a month or so ago, the Washington Post launched their new Health Care Rx blog, and I was asked to participate as a panelist. Every Monday, questions are sent out, and a variety of “experts” from across the health care industry respond. It provides a great snapshot of the many different perspectives that exist.

This week’s question:

The Blue Dog Coalition worries the health bill in the House does not address fundamental cost drivers in the system. Is it possible to rein in costs in the current system? How?

My response is now live: It's Not About Costs, It's About Enabling Transformation

My main points -- real change requires:

  • Figuring out what works (and what doesn't)
  • Enabling supply-side innovation
  • Letting consumers do some of the work that expensive health-care professionals shouldn't be doing anymore

To read the full post, click here. Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts on how to rein in costs in the current health care system.

And you can see my responses to previous questions:

Who Pays for Whose Heath Care? [Posted July 14]

The political debate is often framed around covering the uninsured. At the heart of this is the supposition that health care is a moral obligation -- that everyone has a "right" to it. But it's difficult to separate the moral from the economic because there is no other "liberty" that requires payment.

Defusing the Health Care Bomb [Posted June 16]

The "big red wire" that needs to be clipped first is the fee-for-service payment system driven by the government today through Medicare reimbursement decisions. Until that's addressed, the ticking bomb won't be stopped.

Diagnosing and Treating the Health Non-System [Posted June 7]

We do not currently have a health system at all: it is a health non-system.

If you want to follow the conversation, you can add the Health Care Rx blog to your RSS reader here: http://views.washingtonpost.com/healthcarerx/atom.xml, and I will be posting summaries of my responses on this blog.