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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Outlines a New Paradigm for Health Care Reform
Posted By Kathryn Nix On September 28, 2011 @ 5:45 pm In Health Care | 11 Comments
Yesterday, Representative Paul Ryan (R–WI) shared his outlook for repealing and replacing Obamacare .
Ryan pointed out that rising health care costs not only make insurance unaffordable for many Americans; they are also a main driver of growing federal deficits. As medical inflation pushes the cost of insurance and medical goods and services sky high, the cost to taxpayers of Medicare, Medicaid, and the new open-ended entitlements created in Obamacare goes up as well.
Adequately addressing rising costs will require pinpointing the root causes of medical inflation. Ryan defined these as over-utilization, under-payments, and inefficiency stemming from the detachment of consumers from the costs of their health decisions in a third-party system. The irony, as Ryan put it , is that “the system that shields us from the cost of services has actually left us paying more.”
Rather than restoring much-needed market forces to the health care system, Obamacare doubles down on government price controls and open-ended entitlement spending. However, the left’s health care agenda is not inevitable. Ryan outlined an alternative plan that would allow for a fundamental shift in the incentives facing all key players in the health care system. As he put it, “Our plan is to empower patients; their plan is to empower bureaucrats.”
Ryan’s proposals would restore the patient as “the nucleus of the health economy,” since patients would no longer play a passive role in the decisions that determine their health benefits or the care they receive. The three main changes suggested by Ryan bear many similarities to reforms included in Heritage’s own Saving the American Dream proposal :
Structural flaws are to blame for making coverage unaffordable and inaccessible for millions of Americans. At the same time, no incentives exist to deliver the best quality of care available at the lowest price possible. The reforms Ryan outlines would start to reverse these fundamental shortcomings and put patients in charge of their care. His plan would offer, as Ryan put it, “real security instead of empty promises.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/09/28/rep-paul-ryan-r-wi-outlines-a-new-paradigm-for-health-care-reform/
URLs in this post:
 repealing and replacing Obamacare: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204831304576597001411227880.html
 Saving the American Dream proposal: http://savingthedream.org/
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