Viewpoint: Reform Medicare through competition, consumer choice

Medicare reform through cost reduction caused by increased competition and consumer choice is necessary both to combat rising healthcare costs and the nation's debt, according to a Dec. 4 opinion piece in The Hill.

Undisciplined medical spending is leading to what James Capretta, the Milton Friedman Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, called "rampant waste, excessive administrative costs, and irrationally elevated prices" which force households to pay higher than necessary premiums and taxes and contribute to government borrowing and debt.

Reforming Medicare through two paths could help deal with rising costs, Mr. Capretta wrote. 

One would focus on stricter government payment regulations and new federal efforts to improve value through bonus and incentives. The other would use the market to help consumers choose coverage and providers that offer the best combination of high quality and low prices, he wrote.

More details on Mr. Capretta's suggested reforms can be found here.

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