Over the last century, America evolved a patchwork health care system characterized by coverage gaps, high costs and uneven quality. In a new century, our challenge is to create a high-quality, low-cost health system for all. Innovation is the key. It’s time to retire an obsolete fee-for-service payment system that rewards more, not better, medical services, and replace it with strong incentives for preventive care and healthier lifestyles. We need to lower bureaucratic obstacles and encourage development of breakthrough cures, treatments and devices. Crucially, we need to equip all Americans with new, high-tech tools that enable them to monitor their own health and enhance the productivity of health-care workers.
But instead of focusing on modernizing our health care system, Washington policymakers are mired in yesterday’s ideological battles and the American people are seeing costs rise in a complex system that doesn’t always help them get the care they need. PPI’s Health Innovation Project highlights new ideas for creating a distinctively American approach to universal coverage and high-quality health care – one that is decentralized, powered by the ingenuity of our inventors, entrepreneurs and workers, and disciplined by both market competition and strong public oversight.