Identifying opportunities for health care delivery system reform: Lessons from the front line
Testimony presented to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Article Highlights

  • It will be nearly impossible to move to a high-value, low-cost delivery system if Medicare fee-for-service stays as it is today

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  • A more reliable approach to higher-quality and lower-cost patient care is strong competition in a functioning marketplace

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Senator Whitehouse, Ranking Member Enzi, and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to participate in this very important hearing on health care delivery system reform.

I would like to make three basic points in my testimony today:

1. The source of many of our problems in health care delivery is the dominant Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program. It will be nearly impossible to move to a high-value, low-cost delivery system if Medicare FFS continues to operate as it does today.

2. The 2010 health care law’s efforts at “delivery system reform” — most of which fall within Medicare — are very unlikely to be the solution people are hoping for because the federal government is not good at fostering a high-value, low-cost provider network.

3. A more reliable approach to higher-quality and lower-cost patient care is strong competition in a functioning marketplace.

Capretta Senate HELP testimony May 16, 2012
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About the Author

 

James C.
Capretta
  • James Capretta has spent more than two decades studying American health care policy. As an associate director at the White House's Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004, he was responsible for all health care, Social Security and welfare issues. Earlier, he served as a senior health policy analyst at the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and at the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. Capretta is also concurrently a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. At AEI, he will be researching how to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (best known as Obamacare) with a less expensive reform plan to provide effective and secure health insurance for working-age Americans and their families.

  • Email: James.Capretta@aei.org
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