Policy Documents

First, Do No Harm: Why American Health Care Policy is Failing and How to Fix It

Randall J. Pozdena –
January 1, 2004

It is obvious to most Americans that healthcare has become progressively more expensive and less accessible with each passing decade.  Not surprisingly, politicians today are calling for aggressive reforms of the American health care industry.  These include cries for universal, single payer insurance coverage and for intervening further in the business of insurers, prescription drug manufacturers, hospitals and other providers.

There is great irony in this latest reform enthusiasm.  It is relatively easy to show that it is not any fundamental flaw or "specialness" of medical care that is at the heart of healthcare woes; rather, it is six decades of poorly crafted public policy that has created today's problems of cost and access to health care.