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Quality, Affordable Health Care for All
Date:10/15/2007

ne could purchase a more-expensive plan by paying only the extra cost. People could keep the kind of health insurance and doctor that they now have and prefer. Such fixed-dollar contributions have been successful for employees of Hewlett Packard, Wells Fargo, the University of California, Stanford University, and the states of Washington, Wisconsin, and California. The fixed-dollar credit would be financed by eliminating the current tax exclusion for employer-paid insurance, and by broadly based tax revenues, for example a payroll, value-added, or environmental tax. Every individual would in effect contribute toward the health-insurance program, so every individual would be entitled to insurance - without costly "mandates" or means-testing.

With every individual assured of quality coverage, and able to save by choosing a low-priced plan, insurers and providers would then have a new incentive to offer quality, affordable care that people - not their employers - want. There would be competition in the health marketplace, driven by fair rules to reward quality and cost-effectiveness, rather than denying care and selecting risks. Rules-based competition has driven progress in every other industry in our economy and around the world, and competition has the greatest promise to move health care from its current path of unsustainable cost growth, mediocre quality, deteriorating health, and declining coverage.

"This approach provides the working-age population and their dependents with quality, affordable health coverage. Expanded coverage minus cost control is unaffordable. Cost control absent a health-care market with effective competition is unacceptable. We hope that this plan will stimulate constructive debate and ultimately lead to a market-based system that focuses on the standards for effective competition where both government and the private sector can play their most productive roles," said Charles Kolb, CED President.

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SOURCE The Committee for Economic Development
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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