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Executive order will enable continued health care innovation in response to COVID-19

Jun 22, 2020 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity has signed on to a coalition letter praising the Trump administration for its recent executive order that paves the way for meaningful innovation in health care as the medical field continues to evolve in response to the coronavirus.

“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for flexibility in our health sector and for public officials to do more to empower medical professionals and health care innovators to provide the care and coverage people want and need,” the letter states.

In the months since the pandemic began, the federal government and several states have temporarily lifted a variety of regulations that hinder access to care for those in need. The letter calls on Congress and the administration to make these temporary reforms permanent and continue to empower doctors and patients with creative options for care.

“President Donald Trump’s latest executive order takes a step in this direction,” the letter says, “by directing the federal government to continue these deregulatory efforts ‘with the same vigor and resourcefulness’ deployed in the initial phases of the COVID-19 response.”

The letter recommends additional reforms that will enable American health care to further respond to the immediate crisis while strengthening it for future pandemics:

  1. Make it easier for people to access personal, portable health insurance that travels with them from job to job and in and out of the labor market. This requires increasing options for affordable, flexible health coverage, including short-term, limited-duration plans and arrangements that allow employers to reimburse employees for insurance purchased outside the workplace.
  2. Make it easier for people to communicate with their medical provider of choice, including by phone, email and video conference. Lifting telemedicine restrictions, rolling back certificate-of-need laws, and allowing doctors to practice across state lines without a state-specific license are among the many reforms states have enacted during the pandemic to help patients get more efficient, effective care. These temporary measures should be made permanent, so people can continue to benefit from them once the crisis ends.
  3. Make it easier for patients to own and control accounts to pay for their own care. Everyone should have a health savings account, regardless of how their health care is structured. Additionally, HSA contribution limits — and the options for how those funds can be spent — should be expanded.

Joining Americans for Prosperity in signing the letter were 74 other coalition members, including health care professionals, public policy experts, former lawmakers.

“The debate today,” the letter concludes, “is between those who want to exert even more government control over our health sector and those, like us, who favor giving patients more choice and control and allowing the creativity we have seen in this crisis to flourish.”

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