Meeting the Challenge of Health Care Quality: Achieve Reforms in Medicare, Quality, & Malpractice

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

Joseph P. Newhouse

February 28, 2007

The American public has a right to expect all Presidential candidates to address certain specific health system shortcomings, including the need to increase access to health care, reform Medicare and other financing, improve quality, and tackle medical malpractice reform. These issues have figured prominently in recent political debates, and they can be solved by several policy options.

The next President should consider recommendations that include:

  • allowing Medicare to select, through a competitive bidding process, a single pharmacy benefits management company for each region of the country and standardize plan offerings so that consumers do not have such a bewildering array of options
  • encouraging development of cost-effective approaches to personalized medicine, tailored to individual patients’ specific makeup
  • supporting a streamlined dispute resolution system that would more fairly compensate a larger proportion of patients injured by negligent health care providers

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