- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s explanation of why his state must reject Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion and state insurance exchanges should be required reading for everyone in Congress (“Florida will not implement Obamacare,” Commentary, Monday).

Choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility are all critical factors because they can change the incentives in health care to release hospitals, doctors and insurance companies from focusing on compliance with third-party-payer rules and regulations. This way they can focus instead on genuine innovation and creativity to better serve patients at a cost that patients can afford.

Mr. Scott writes, “We need to focus on the real problems with our health care system, the costs.” To do that, we must change the incentives of the providers responsible for the costs. Providers must want to innovate with better, less costly health care delivery. Government regulation will not do this for them. Only patients with freedom to choose can exercise true value-based cost control. A customer with free choice is a remarkable incentive for new suppliers, as well as old, to provide higher-quality care at lower cost.

To prove this, we can simply look around at how we live today compared with the way we lived 100 years ago. None of today’s innovations and cost reductions were brought about by government politicians, planning commissions or innovation committees.

GORDON O.F. JOHNSON



Alexandria

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