Reporter Roger Lowenstein’s March 13 article in the Magazine(“The Quality Cure?”) misstates the approach of “right-wingers,” as he describes those who believe in a market approach to health reform. He writes that “If people paid for their own angioplasties, so the theory goes, they would have fewer of them. This is the theory behind Bush’s health savings accounts…”
This is inaccurate. HSAs are in fact designed to provide consumers more control over routine health expenditures, and the accounts must be coupled with high-deductible health insurance, which certainly would kick-in if a patient were to require an angioplasty. Lowenstein gives a short and inaccurate portrayal of the ideas of those who believe in new incentive programs to engage consumers in health spending decisions while devoting several thousand words to the perspective of those from the other side. A bit more balance certainly seems in order.