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A Vision For Health System Change And... How To Bring It About

Recorded on March 2, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

America's health care system is in crisis. Costs are soaring. Millions are without coverage. Millions more fear losing the coverage they have. There is dissatisfaction among doctors and hospitals, employers and insurers, labor and management, state legislators and members of Congress, and millions of patients. What would America's health care system be like if we could fix what is wrong and build on what is right? Can we achieve universal coverage? Can we put the patient in charge of basic health care decisions? Can we eliminate the hassle factor facing doctors? What is the Vision for Health System Change?

What steps must policymakers take to bring about a change where patients exercise greater control over their health care decisions? What is the role of health care tax credits and health savings accounts? What is the mix of existing public and private programs? Is there a role for voluntary purchasing cooperatives or state sponsored risk pools? What changes should be made in the health insurance markets?