David Brooks is absolutely right to recommend that the president (and New York Times readers) check out David Goldhill's essay in the Atlantic on American health care. Thing is, if the president were to read Goldhill's piece, he'd find it contains substantive, compelling criticisms of the Democrats' approach to health care. The liberal health care consensus "simply do[es] not address the root causes of poor quality and runaway costs," Goldhill writes. Moreover:
The most important single step we can take toward truly reforming our system is to move away from comprehensive health insurance as the single model for financing care. And a guiding principle of any reform should be to put the consumer, not the insurer or the government, at the center of the system. I believe if the government took on the goal of better supporting consumers-by bringing greater transparency and competition to the health-care industry, and by directly subsidizing those who can't afford care-we'd find that consumers could buy much more of their care directly than we might initially think, and that over time we'd see better care and better service, at lower cost, as a result.
Makes sense to me! Goldhill quotes approvingly from Harvard Business School professor Regina Herzlinger, who also backs a consumer-driven approach and who writes occasionally for National Review. Then again, since Goldhill and Herzlinger are skeptical about his current plan, Obama may think these reasonable, good-faith critics are just a couple of writers who "use fear to block change."
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