Today, President Obama will host members of Congress from both political parties at the White House to discuss health reform. He has already put on the table an ambitious plan that takes elements from the bills already passed by the House and Senate and adds others, such as an agency to control health-insurance premiums.
The fundamental question participants must address is whether to use the president's plan as a starting point for negotiations, or to scrap it and start over.
Our recommendation: scrap it and start over. Its key elements—mandates, heavy-handed insurance regulation, and entitlement-based, middle-income subsidies—must go. None of them address health care's fundamental problem: high and rising costs. Instead, the various versions of health reform put forth by the president and his party are based on expanding health-insurance coverage. The inevitable consequence will be to exacerbate the cost problem. And the American public knows it.