Dr Joe Antos Outlines AEI's Proposal for Improving Healthcare in the US

June 26, 2016

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released its own plan for making improvements to the healthcare system, which included ideas such as premium support for Medicare, explained Joe Antos, PhD, the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at AEI.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released its own plan for making improvements to the healthcare system, which included ideas such as premium support for Medicare, explained Joe Antos, PhD, the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at AEI.

Transcript (slightly modified)

The American Enterprise Institute recently released its Improving Health and Healthcare paper. What ways does the paper propose to make changes to the healthcare system?

This report is something that 10 right-of-center policy experts put together and the idea was more to illustrate things that we think could be done to improve the health sector. The major ideas: on Medicare, for example, we would shift to what is known as premium support, which means that individuals would receive a risk-adjusted subsidy to buy into either traditional Medicare or into a private health plan—it could be a Medicare Advantage plan, but it could be other things as well.

And the idea behind that is to shift more of the decision making and more cost awareness to the beneficiary. That doesn't mean it's pure cost shifting, but the whole idea here is to send a strong message to the health sector that you can't keep raising prices; you can't continue to prescribe unnecessary office visits, tests, and so on; you've got to find a more efficient way of doing it.

Under the current system, where, frankly, the health sector goes to Congress and says, "We need more money," and they get more, if you put more of the control in the hands of the beneficiary, it will be more clear that you can't just get more money, you're going to have to do a better job of delivering healthcare on a more cost-effective basis.