Health-care reform is a broad category. Say it’s the topic and you’ve put some topics out of bounds. Not enough to ensure a coherent conversation will follow. That’s the lesson from the first half of today’s White House health-care summit.
The disparate topics include the extent of fraud and abuse, medical liability, and the implications of selling health insurance across state lines. Each topic could be the topic of its own day-long summit.
The best expression of the lack of coherence comes from the letters from ordinary folks that several members of Congress have quoted. The quotations appear to be offered to help make the case that there exist problems in some part of the health-care delivery system or the health-insurance industry that make a difference for ordinary Americans. What’s missing is how some legislative particulars would solve the problem. That’s been the challenge facing proponents of omnibus approaches to health-care reform. Today’s summit shows that challenge has not abated.
– Hanns Kuttner is a visiting fellow at Hudson Institute.