Healthcare is back on the agenda in Washington. Last week, President Joe Biden released his budget proposal, which includes billions in new taxes and price controls on prescription drugs to help avert Medicare’s fiscal crisis and underwrite billions in health insurance subsidies. But in a divided Congress, it’s unlikely to go anywhere.
Instead, lawmakers need to look at more incremental approaches to health reform — ones that empower patients to take greater control of their care. Injecting more market dynamism into our healthcare system is the only way to improve quality and reduce costs.
Government has long exercised outsize influence on patient care. Federal and state rules dictate what kind of insurance people can buy, whether and where providers can build new facilities, how various providers may practice, and which drugs they may take.