Solving the many pressing policy issues facing the U.S. requires accurate assessments of the problems. When it comes to the affordability problem that plagues the U.S. health care system, too often people look for scapegoats, such as the pharmaceutical industry. As Managing Editor, Wayne Winegarden, argues here, the latest national expenditure data continues to dispel this myth that pharmaceutical expenditures, or the expenditures from any individual sector of the health care system, are driving the affordability problem. Health care continues to become less affordable due to systemic problems that are rife throughout the entire health care system.
Fixing these systemic problems requires reforms that will:
- Remove disincentives, such as the problems associated with defensive medicine that arise from lawsuit abuse;
- Increase competition in the practice of medicine;
- Eliminate the government-imposed distortions on the health insurance markets;
- Simplify drug pricing; and,
- Reform the income support programs to create a simpler system that empowers patients not bureaucracies.