High U.S. health care spending has been characterized not only as a barrier to affordable insurance but also as the preeminent long-term threat to the economy and the competitiveness of American business. The current policy discussion in Congress does not address this problem. The search for government savings with which to fund coverage expansions makes public programs the main targets for spending reductions; opportunities for private-sector savings are left out of the equation. The authors think it is useful to consider the cost-control options available to both the public and the private sectors.
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