Leavitt’s Health Care Plan Shows ‘Promise,’ Broder Says
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt "has been characterized as an ogre" for his opposition to the State Children's Health Insurance Program compromise bill -- which he has said "is too ambitious and too expensive, encroaching on the private insurance market" -- but his proposals for health care reform hold "promise of a better day not just for children but for all Americans," Washington Post columnist David Broder writes in his column.
According to Broder, Leavitt proposes a "radically different kind of medical marketplace, in which families armed with specific information about the treatment success and prices of hospitals and doctors can show at will for the best quality and most affordable care."
Broder adds that Leavitt "envisages a system in which best practices would be defined by national groups of physicians and business economists but local committees would do the ratings of doctors and hospitals ... to build public trust." In addition, Leavitt seeks to establish an electronically linked network of community organizations that represent "business, labor, physicians, hospitals and other key players" to form, "in effect, national standards for measuring the delivery of health care," Broder writes.
"We are a long way from that now, and getting there will require continued leadership from the federal government," Broder writes, adding, "But Leavitt's view is that the government should not own health care; instead, it should organize the health care marketplace and then let competition based on full information proceed" (Broder, Washington Post, 10/21).