How will personal health care options give people better, more affordable care?

Mar 23, 2021 by AFP

America has some of the most advanced health care in the world. We have some of the best doctors, state-of-the-art technology, and most well-equipped hospitals. As a result, most Americans are happy with their own health care.

Yet 70 percent of Americans believe that our health care system in general isn’t working and needs reform. Something is wrong. What’s the problem?

“It’s the system that’s broken,” says Emily Seidel, CEO of Americans for Prosperity, in a new video on health care, “completely obstructed by red tape and instability and hidden prices that make it far too expensive with too few options.”

Access to health care should be like purchasing most other goods and services on the market, Seidel says.

When you go out to dinner, you pick the restaurant you want and then you get a menu. You know what your options are, you know how much they cost, and you know how much money you’re willing to spend. Why shouldn’t you have that same control and choice when it comes to your health care?

Patients deserve to get the high-quality care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.

Some recommend a government takeover of health care, sometimes called a “public option,” where the government would assume the role of insurance company.

That approach wouldn’t work, Seidel says.

During the pandemic, we saw with our own eyes the massive government failures that made it harder to get folks the help they needed. Things like providing testing kits that didn’t work, huge mask and ventilator shortages for our frontline workers, rigid state laws that limited hospitals on how many people they could see and prevented doctors and nurses from going to locations that needed their help.

So, what works? A personal option: A set of smart, sensible reforms that lower costs and increase access to care, while maintaining a patient-centered approach that puts control in the hands of people and the doctors they trust – not government bureaucrats.

In short, the plan fixes what ails the system while keeping in place what works.

Seidel recommends three policies that would make a personal option more attainable for Americans:

  • Expand health savings accounts: This would make care more affordable by saving patients anywhere from 10 to 40 percent on every expense.
  • Ensure price transparency: Americans should be able to know what their health care services are going to cost before they purchase them.
  • Enable more choice: Lawmakers should remove onerous regulations that prevent Americans from accessing the doctors, nurses, and facilities they need.

“A personal option is the control you deserve, the access you want, and the affordability you need,” Seidel says.

Americans are saddled with regulations that make health care more expensive and harder to access. They need a personal option, one which recognizes that choice and competition are the best tools to improve care. Tell lawmakers to help Americans access a personal option in their health care.