Symptomatic Relief, but No Cure
The Obama Health Care Reform

Wilson H. Taylor
Scholar
Joseph Antos

A central premise of Senator Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency is that America is ready--this time--for sweeping health care reform. He has laid out a vision for reform that promises health insurance for (nearly) everyone, with coverage as good as that enjoyed by members of Congress. According to the campaign, the Obama plan would shift most of the 46 million uninsured Americans into health plans, strengthen employer-sponsored insurance, increase the efficiency of the health care delivery system, and save the average family $2,500 a year on their insurance premiums. These hopes are too audacious to be believed.

The Obama plan offers a host of policy proposals that, in the main, address the symptoms but not the underlying disease that afflicts the health care system. We surely could use some symptomatic relief. However, failing to address the perverse incentives that drive health care spending inexorably upward, making insurance unaffordable for millions and shaping (or misshaping) the practice of medicine, will leave us worse off than we are today. . . .

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Joseph Antos is a Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at AEI.

 

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About the Author

 

Joseph
Antos
  • Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focuses on the economics of health policy — including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing. He also studies the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy.

    Before joining AEI, Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He has also held senior positions in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He recently completed a seven-year term as health adviser to CBO, and two terms as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. In 2013, he was also named adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University.

    Antos has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University.



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