Author Dean Clancy makes a very simple point:
Cut through all the bureaucratic jargon and mind-numbing acronyms, and there are only two basic ideas in health policy: HMOs and HSAs. That's it.Clancy then goes onto explain how all purported health care "reforms" really fall into one of those two categories. The precise names may vary, but the basic principles are the same.
If you understand the essential difference between an HMO (health maintenance organization) and an HSA (health savings account), you will have acquired the only tool you really need to navigate the entire, complicated health policy debate and see through all the blah-blah of the so-called experts. It's a lesson so simple that housewives, janitors, and even many college professors can understand it...
At root, either someone else (the government or some other third-party payor) decides how your health care dollar can be spent -- or you do.
The first option leads to increasing centralized control, whereas the second option leaves the control of your health care in your hands.
Clancy also has a nice discussion on how to move American health care in the direction of a fully free market. For more details, read the full text of "Health Reform in One Lesson".
(Link via Dr. Art Fougner. )
Related: "Just Who Should Control Your Healthcare Spending?", Forbes, 5/15/2012.