Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute surveys the landscape of ideas that tend to be associated with the Republican Party and examines which are strongest, which are weakest, and which are most feasible today. According to Howard, a chief problem on the right is not that there is a lack of Republican plans, but rather that there is no consensus among Republicans on which plan should be central. In general, market-oriented commentators, including Republicans, support reforms that put more consumer healthcare dollars in the hands of consumers. According to Howard, this would encourage healthcare providers to become more efficient and more apt to supply consumers with information about price and quality. Howard argues that four ideas have become fixtures in the health policy community: 1) consumers must be engaged, 2) healthcare needs some level of competition, 3) there will always be a safety net, and 4) the system must pay for value, not volume.
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