Mitt Earns a Gentlemen's D

  • by: |
  • 06/14/2012

Part D that is.

On Tuesday Governor Romney discussed an alternative to the ACA (aka, “ObamaCare”) that would make the health insurance system more like a “consumer market” -- applying free-enterprise principles to the nation’s health-care system (letting competition drive down prices and increase choice and quality) rather than operate it like a “government-managed utility.”

In other words, precisely the model that has made Medicare Part D such a resounding success among seniors (as measured by participant satisfaction pushing 90%), below budget costs (the price of Part D over the next decade is expected to be nearly $120 billion less than originally estimated) and lower than expected premiums (in August 2011, HHS announced that premiums would be slightly lower in the drug program in 2012).

Smart partnership between government and the free market works.

It works at keeping costs low and – most importantly – improving care. As JAMA reported,  Implementation of Medicare Part D was followed by increased use of prescription medications, reduced out-of-pocket costs, and improved medication adherence.” And this, in no small measure, significantly reduces more drastic medical interventions -- which in turn reduces our overall national health care spending.

It’s time for many on the left to address their PDDD (Part D Deficit Disorder) and embrace a free market solution to health care reform.

Governor Romney also wants to divert federal Medicaid money and other federal funding to state governments, making them responsible for covering the uninsured. He correctly recognizes that states are the laboratories of invention. (And that some labs are more successful than others – witness the success of “Healthy Indiana” vs. the albatross of the Bay State’s “Commonwealth Care.” The Governor speaks from personal experience.)

If the Supreme Court doesn’t entirely repeal the ACA, Governor Romney said he would work to repeal whatever remains of it on his first day as president by granting a waiver to all 50 states to opt out of the legislation’s restrictions.

 “We can get health care to act more like a consumer market, and if we do that and we stop making it like a big government-managed utility, we’re going to see better prices, lower costs and better care,” Romney said. “It’s happened everywhere we’ve applied consumer-market principles. Free enterprise is the way America works. We need to apply that to health care.”



Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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