Mark McClellan of the Brookings Institution makes the case that universal coverage should be the goal of health reform, and that improving healthcare delivery is the means of getting there. According to McClellan, when there is a lack of consensus about what the long-term solution should be, the political process fills the gap by passing a series of ineffective, short-term measures that do not do anything to improve quality or fix fundamental problems. These efforts can even make things worse. McClellan argues that there is an important difference between improving access to high quality care and achieving guaranteed universal coverage. What is needed are policy reforms that are designed to achieve better quality at lower costs, so that universal coverage as a political proposition becomes feasible.
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