You've got to love a president who thinks he can reduce the deficit by expanding health-care spending to cover virtually every American. But Obama and his supporters have been claiming that they can achieve this magic trick through some reforms that will increase efficiencies and thus reduce spending. The proposals mentioned most often are more preventive care, more use of IT by doctors, better management of chronic diseases, paying for outcomes rather than procedures, and effectiveness ratings that could guide health-care decisions.
As this Register editorial explains, however, while all of these proposals have some merit, none would offer substantial savings or in some cases even any savings at all. The Congressional Budget Office, controlled by Democrats since 2006, has done projections of all, and none promises savings worth noticing. Too bad. We're working on some free-market proposals that might actually lead to better care for more people for less money, using competition rather than top-down regulation and mandates. Stay tuned.