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  • Breaking Health Care Research: Pursuing a Different Path in Health Reform

    After one year, Obamacare remains just as unpopular as ever. The fight for repeal has gained ground in both Congress and the states. But repeal is only the first step in setting a new agenda on health care.

    In her recently released paper, Heritage expert Nina Owcharenko explains the four steps necessary to creating lasting reform that is truly market-based and patient-centered: “Unlike Obamacare, Congress should pursue an approach to health care reform that preserves the doctor–patient relationship and cutting-edge innovation while controlling costs and expanding access to private health coverage.”

    According to Owcharenko, successful reform will focus on four crucial areas:

    1. Tax reform. Under the current system, individuals who receive employer-sponsored coverage receive preferential tax treatment over those shopping in the individual market. Tax policy reform is crucial to create equality within the system. Owcharenko argues, “Congress should replace the current tax treatment of health insurance with a credit that is individually based … replacing the current open-ended tax break for work-based coverage with a broader and fairer tax system for individuals. … Congress should [also] provide low-income, non-taxpaying workers with a comparable subsidy.”
    2. Entitlement reform. Reform of Medicare and Medicaid, two of the nation’s most costly entitlement programs, is necessary to save our fiscal future. Moreover, transformation would ensure that they better meet the needs of their beneficiaries. Owcharenko writes that “these programs transfer enormous power into the hands of bureaucrats to control or limit enrollees’ person health care decisions and discourage market-based efficiencies.” By switching to a system where consumers, not bureaucrats, make decisions about their own health care, Congress could put these programs on a sustainable path while providing better quality care.
    3. Insurance reform. Another step to creating a market-based health care system is insurance reform. Congress can make changes to the existing system that allow interstate purchases of health insurance, remove barriers to access for hard-to-insure patients, and allow for more effective ways to pool patients. These reforms would expand coverage without disrupting the system for those it currently serves well.
    4. State-based reform. No two states have the same health care reform needs. Because of this, states, not Washington, should take the lead in designing reforms that best meet the needs of their residents. According to Owcharenko, “state policymakers should pursue innovative ways to advance a consumer-based marketplace at the state level. Good state experimentation can help to identify future federal changes necessary to achieve full reform.”

    Over the last year, the push back against Obamacare has shown that Americans do not want a health care system where government—rather than doctors and patients—makes the calls. To learn more about why patient-centered, market-based reforms that control costs is the right way to go, read Owcharenko’s full report here.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Breaking Health Care Research: Pursuing a Different Path in Health Reform

    1. Pingback: Breaking Health Care Research: Pursuing a Different Path in Health Reform | Big Propaganda

    2. Scot, New Jersey says:

      The Federal-level reforms that Nina outlines in her memo will help to set the stage for a more sustainable reform however, until the healthcare dollars and decision-making rests with the patient, we will continue to have a system with misplaced incentives.

      Americans are more than capable of making their own healthcare decisions, but require data upon which to base those decisions. This is why reforms within the system need to be accelerated at the same time that the regulatory and financial barriers Nina speaks about are tackled. Reforms within the system need to include things like Physician disease treatment outcomes data so patients can choose providers based on their ability to treat the conditions a patient has. Hospital surgical outcomes data and disease state treatment outcomes so that patients can select appropriate facilities for their needs. In this schema, patient value becomes the centerpiece of provider selection.

      Continuity of patient care (in an environment with many choices) can be facilitated by Health Information Exchanges that would serve as repositories of disease state and previous treatment data so that patient mobility between insurance carriers/plans will not create the barriers to care that they do today.

      These are certainly things that can be driven at the State level. We have 50 laboratories for experimentation built-in to our system. It's time we leveraged that capability as the Founders intended. The role of the Federal government in this process (if any) might be to act as a coordinator for sharing the results of these 50 laboratories so that best practices can be disseminated for the benefit of everyone.

    3. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Please! (5) Remove all Junk Science from Medical Practice, and reinstitute a Strict Cures Standard. Get rid of the Disease Management Model! Stop the sophestry of Syndromes, Fake Diseases, and Political 'Diseases' (It is currently Diagnostic, Belief In God is a symptom of Mental Illness! You didn't know?) Constitutionalism is also a symptom of Mental Illness.

      (6) Get rid of the Waste! Defensive Medicine, endless Tests costing ten times more than the treatment! Stop the crazy stuff! Quit wasting our money on Over Administration and Government caused costs!

      (7) Stop advertising stupid normal things as illnesses that everybody should be running to their Doctors over! Stop putting our Seniors on dangerous medications when you can't cure it! You are killing people with all those Side Effects!

      (8) Stop worshipping the Doctors! The number one Health issue is Nuitrition! The number two is stress! Number three is exercise! And understand, 60% of our illnesses are Self Inflicted! No amount of expensive Medical advice will stop that! It is just as easy to ignore a $10,000 test as it is to ignore common sense! Why should tax payers pay for all that Waste?

    4. Pingback: Breaking Health Care Research: Pursuing a Different Path in Health … | Major Health Issues

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