Openness Is the Way to Improve Health Care    

Nov 15, 2018 by AFP

Our health care system is saddled with costly, unnecessary and stifling regulations. It’s not surprising, then, that our health care system can often be expensive, draconian and downright dysfunctional.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, reforms toward health care openness would go a long way in making our country’s health care system more effective, more affordable and more accessible.

Here are a few ways in which health care openness can — and has already — unleashed better health outcomes for Americans:

Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance Plans

One of the most significant health care reforms by the Trump administration was to ease federal regulations on short-term insurance plans. Removing the three-month limitation on the use of these plans — which cost on average 50-80 percent less than plans found under Obamacare — the administration also allowed them to be renewed for up to three years.

These plans will avail millions of Americans to many of the nation’s best doctors and hospitals that don’t accept Obamacare exchange plans. Openness to these newly reformed plans on the part of the states would do wonders in bringing greater options for health care to millions.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements

Health reimbursement arrangements are employer-funded tools for employees that cover out-of-pocket medical expenses and now — with the Trump administration’s recent reforms — individual health insurance premiums.

The Treasury Department estimates that, once fully implemented, these new HRAs will benefit 10 million employees. What’s more, these new plans will likely lower the cost of premiums on the individual market, fostering greater competition and innovation among providers.

Once more, states can go further in dropping their own regulations on HRAs, making it easier for small to midsize businesses to provide coverage to their employees.

Ending Certificate of Need Laws

These mandates — repealed at the federal level but prolific among the states— intentionally restrict the supply of health care by granting monopoly privileges to providers, with the intent to lower the cost of care.

They hardly ever do.   

Allowing a free market to determine the proper amount of health care is the best way to ensure adequate and affordable care for all. Certificate of need laws should be repealed.

If you’d like to see more health care openness to reduce costs, expand access and increase quality, sign the petition to tell the administration to keep fighting for more choice in the market.