Concerns with Health Care Reform

Henry J. Aaron
Henry J. Aaron The Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Chair, Senior Fellow Emeritus - Economic Studies

September 11, 2007

America faces three equally important health care problems:

needlessly high health care spending that is growing at unsustainably rapid rates;
seriously sub-optimal quality of care; and
large and growing numbers of people with inadequate insurance or none at all.

None of these problems is new. All have intensified in recent years. Ideologically diverse proposals to deal with these problems have been on the table for years—in some cases for decades. These proposals fall broadly into three categories: conservative (mostly linked to tax incentives), liberal (mostly involving employer mandates or single-payer administration), and incremental (mostly involving extension of current programs and reinsurance).