President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have proposed a major restructuring of the American health care system. They argue that Americans spend too much for health care of often dubious quality and that tens of millions of Americans lack meaningful access to health insurance. In turn, they have proposed structural reforms to the existing private and public health care fi nancing systems that are intended to increase coverage, lower costs, and improve health care quality.
Most Americans agree that our health care system is broken and must be fi xed. But it is increasingly clear that what ails health care is not too little, but too much government intervention. Federal and state tax preferences for employer-sponsored health insurance distort the market in a way that limits choices for individuals, reduces competition among insurers, and artifi cially infl ates costs for health care services. For most working Americans, switching jobs often entails switching health plans and doctors or losing coverage altogether, while many others fi nd non-employer-sponsored insurance unaffordable or difficult to obtain.
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