I would recommend reading Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. insightful argument published in the WSJ on January 21, 2009 “Can Obama Make Government Solvent”. In part he states:
“End the tax preference for employer-provided health care. Make it up to workers with an income or payroll tax cut. This one step would move the economy towards consuming health care efficiently and designing insurance policies that actually insure rather than channel the privileged class's health spending through a tax loophole.
The privileged class, exposed to meaningful price tags, would become a force for disciplining cost and quality rather than the opposite. Nothing else would so improve the country's long-term fiscal prospects or do more to lend practicality to Mr. Obama's goal of universal coverage.
Back in 1993, when minds were still fresh, economists left and right recognized that the enormous tax subsidy to third-party payership was the original sin of our health-care woes. The Senate Finance Committee devoted a full set of hearings to just this issue. But it was a fix that lacked the grandiosity of a flow chart showing how government would re-engineer health care from top to bottom. There's a lesson here: Real reform is often deceptively simple, leading naturally to changes in behavior that are more far-reaching than any detailed government prescription could hope to achieve.”
The decisions our current government makes will have a large impact on the cost, quality and availability of healthcare in the future.