by James C. Capretta
e21: Economic Policies for the 21st Century
August 06, 2012
Obamacare will pour an ocean of gasoline on the health entitlement fire, and the supposed cost-control mechanisms are a mirage. The federal government has demonstrated in its management of Medicare and Medicaid over the past half century that it has no capacity whatsoever to make prudent resource-allocation decisions in health care. What’s needed in American health care is the discipline and accountability that comes with a functioning marketplace. That means empowering consumers to make sound decisions for themselves. With consumers in the driver’s seat, those providing medical services to them will have strong incentives to reorganize their business practices to deliver better care at less cost. That’s the only way to slow the pace of rising costs while maintaining or even improving the quality of care provided to patients.