Gov Leavitt On Gov’t Trojan Horse For Healthcare

In a piece that was posted on the website this morning and which I heard Governor Leavitt talk through last night, he lays out some of the illusions that we have around government run healthcare and reminds us that Medicare isn’t a model to emulate (in case you didn’t know that).  A few of the quotes from the piece:

  • Advocates of government-run health care suffer under the illusion that Medicare operates more efficiently than the private sector.
  • The efficiency of a health-care system isn’t measured by the volume of checks it issues, but the value it generates.  Medicare’s uncoordinated, quality-indifferent, more-more-more structure is moving it rapidly toward bankruptcy, and taking our nation with it.
  • Since 1970, the cost of these flagship government-run health-care programs has risen more than two-and-a-half times as much as the cost of all other health care in the United States, the vast majority of which is run by the private sector.
  • Medicare’s budget is projected to double within ten years, topping $1 trillion annually.  The number of workers per beneficiary will soon drop from almost four to just over two and a half.
  • This is like treating chronic obesity with a perpetual regimen of double calories.
  • Inevitably, government-run systems cut costs by cutting access to services.

There is another answer.  The government needs to promote value — to empower consumers to pursue the highest-quality care at the lowest-possible prices.  Strong government action is needed to organize an efficient market where consumers can choose insurance plans and medical practitioners who offer the best value.  What is not needed is to replace the private market with a government-run system in which only the truly rich have a choice.

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