Bipartisan Paths to Expand Health Coverage: Prospects for 2001 and Beyond

February 27, 2001
Washington, DC

Gail Wilensky:

"... it doesn't ignore the fact that making people more cost conscious, which I think Congressman McCrery, you ought to make sure is in every paragraph that you talk about your healthcare plan; it's a very important issue that will drive change."

Uwe Reinhardt:

"Whenever I hear cost-consciousness as an economist I ask myself -- I read yesterday in 'The Wall Street Journal' that Paul O'Neill's income last year was $56 million the Treasury's Secretary. Now I ask myself, how do I want him to be cost conscious about healthcare? How do I do
that when the guy's annual income is $56 million; what am I gonna charge, am I gonna charge 20 million for the bypass? Because that's roughly what it would be to put him on power with the waitress, so when you say you want to make people more cost conscious you really should
speak plain English. You want to ration by income class."

"So when you talk about cost consciousness, you're really saying the lower middle class should get less healthcare, and maybe they should, but say so."