You would think a person with the credentials such as below would be informed as to what he writes about.
The fact is insurance companies don’t offer any care. The fact is the most generous health benefit plans are negotiated plans, especially among public unions. The fact is large employers offer (more correctly used to offer) such plans to attract and retain workers and would be quite happy to reduce the value of their plans as has been happening for years (shifting costs to workers of course).
But the real fact missed is that these so-called generous plans among large employers and many unions are not insured at all, there is no “health insurance” as such and the insurance company that may be processing claims has no financial stake in what is spent on those claims. They are self-insured, self-funded by the employer or union and even when they are not, they are the product not of generosity, but of necessity in some manner.
And then we have “reimburse providers based on outcomes and quality rather than inputs and quantity.” What makes us think we can pay doctors on that basis when we can’t even apply that criteria to teachers?
The “do no harm” principle extends beyond the individual market, where about 1 in 6 Americans get their health care, according to the Census Bureau. To cut cost growth and improve quality, the administration will have to use other tools—many of them bipartisan—that have been created by Congress in recent years. These include delivery-system reforms in Medicare, which shift to payment models that reimburse providers based on outcomes and quality rather than inputs and quantity.
A Republican Congress under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner already expanded these reforms after they were originally passed as part of the Affordable Care Act. The “Cadillac tax,” which encourages insurance companies not to offer overly expensive care, should also stay. Neither of these policies requires congressional action. The administration simply has to implement the law as written.
Mr. Furman, a professor of practice at the Harvard Kennedy School, was chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, 2013-17.Wall Street Journal 7-24-17