from Scott Atlas at The Wall Street Journal, The Health Reform That Hasn’t Been Tried
Third, introduce the right incentives into the tax code. Today employees aren’t taxed on the value of their health benefits—and there is no limit to that exclusion. This creates harmful, counterproductive incentives. It encourages higher demand for care and minimizes concerns about cost.
Similarly, ObamaCare’s premium subsidies and the tax credits proposed by Republicans artificially prop up high insurance premiums for bloated coverage that minimizes out-of-pocket payments. This prevents patients from caring about the bill, which reduces the incentives for doctors and hospitals to compete on price. If health-care deductions are maintained, the tax code should cap them and limit eligibility to HSA contributions and catastrophic premiums.
In other countries, governments hold down costs mainly by limiting access to care, drugs and technology. The results are long waits and worse medical outcomes, particularly for the poor and middle class, who are unable to circumvent those single-payer systems. If Republicans want to avoid going down that road, they need to educate the public on the benefits of a different approach: leveraging incentives and deregulation to reduce prices so that quality health care is affordable for all Americans.