4 ways Congress can help American businesses

The US unemployment hovers around 8.2 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is struggling to remain above 12,000. The message is clear: This recovery from the Great Recession is still fragile. Legislators should focus their attention on these four straightforward policy changes to help American commerce.

4. Use market principles to reform government

The government needs to be more proactive about adopting time-tested market mechanisms in its own operations. There’s no reason public programs can’t harness the competitive forces proven to bring down prices and drive up quality in the private sector.

The chief market-style reform currently being considered on Capitol Hill is the “premium support” plan for Medicare introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin and Sen. Ron Wyden (D) of Oregon, which would give beneficiaries a predetermined sum to spend on an insurance plan of their choice. This would force insurers to compete for public dollars. Medicare’s prescription drug program has operated in this fashion for over half a decade, and it has cost 40 percent less than originally predicted.

America hasn’t shaken off the recession, but strong long-term growth is within reach. The business leaders and entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow need our legislators to show some leadership and tackle the substantial reforms this economy needs.

Yuri Vanetik is a private investor and philanthropist. He is the principal of Vanetik International, LLC and a national board member of Gen Next, a nonprofit membership organization that engages executives and entrepreneurs to provide long-term solutions for future generations.

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