President Bush is expected to focus on healthcare reform in his Tuesday evening State of the Union speech. Over the last few weeks many details of the Bush healthcare plan have leaked out. We know, for example, that the President's speech is likely to focus on healthcare costs, with the administration expected to push for the "consumerization" of healthcare with an emphasis on health savings accounts, greater transparency and increased use of technology. The only real question: What will it all mean for healthcare providers?
- see this article from The New York Times
PLUS: The pre-game show is already well underway with a ton of coverage in the press. Bush adviser R. Glen Hubbard lays out the rationale for the plan. Article
ALSO: The Economist, while stressing that something needs to be done, is very critical of allowing more healthcare dollars to be spent tax-free via HSAs. "The timing looks terrible. Mr. Bush's team is under fire for botching its biggest healthcare initiative to date. Yet Mr. Bush may be able to push more radical reform in healthcare than anywhere else." Article
FINALLY: Veteran health economist Henry Aaron, writing in the Los Angeles Times, says that HSAs are largely irrelevant. The solution to high healthcare costs is to implement sensible policies on technology spending and limits on care for patients who may not benefit from it. Op-Ed