Congress could improve the newly created Medicare prescription drug benefit by applying the lessons of welfare reform, according to an excellent new article by Paul Barringer.

In American Outlook, the Hudson Institute’s quarterly journal, Mr. Barringer lays out what made welfare reform successful:

Pay for performance: bonuses for performing well across a spectrum of quality measures.

● Encouraging partnerships with local organizations and key players.

● Administrative flexibility.

● Block grant approach to finances.

● Emphasizing evidence-based practices.

In a great example of out-of-the-box thinking, Paul Barringer makes a thoughtful, persuasive case for applying these same reforms to make the Medicare drug program more beneficial for seniors and taxpayers.