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Lawmakers could change this, and even provide vouchers or other forms of direct assistance to help poorer Americans buy private plans they would own and control. This would also make insurance portable when people change jobs.

Maintaining our standard of care is critical. There’s a reason Canadians “fly south” for treatment: Our system, for all its flaws, provides superior quality and access to care. Let’s ensure that policymakers, in their understandable zeal to reform health care, don’t make changes that weaken the entire system.

Ed Feulner is president of the Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).