Question: How should health insurance be reformed?
Regina Herzlinger: When Harvard University, my brilliant employer, buys health insurance on my behalf, I have zero input into their decision about how they are going to spend my money. I want to have a 100% input into that decision. And there are lots of people who feel the same as I do.
Now, if they want to stay with their employers, and have them by their health insurance for them, fine. As for me, give me back my money. Give it to me in the same way that Harvard University can use that money, which is tax free, require me to buy health insurance, let me go to work on that system. Tens of millions of people like me are going to have the profound impact on health care. That's consumer-driven health care.
Business involvement in health care should be limited to providing better and more efficient ways of delivering health care, not to act as agents for consumers.
I don't want my employer to buy my clothes. I don't want them to buy my food. I don't want them to buy my car. I don't want them to buy my house. Not that they're stupid. But they don't know what I consider value for money. I want them out of the health insurance purchase decision.
Recorded on: May 27, 2009.