While congressional reform efforts screech and shudder along, let's take a moment to dream: What would real reform look like? It would be consumer driven, transparent, and competitive.Read the whole thing.
Right now consumers are locked into the health insurance and health care plans that their employers choose, thanks to previous government meddling with the health care system and the tax code. Consequently, most consumers simply don't have a clue what their health insurance costs. They have no way to reduce those costs, and no incentive to do so, even if they could.
Harvard University business professor Regina Herzlinger is stuck in exactly the same place as most Americans—her employer, in this case, the president of Harvard, buys her health insurance for her. "I wouldn't permit him to buy my house or my clothing or my food for me. Yet as my employer, he could take up to $15,000 of my salary each year and buy my health insurance for me, without knowing anything about my preferences or needs. It's ridiculous."