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Reimagining heath care in the wake of COVID-19 is producing real reform. Now Congress needs to make these measures permanent.

Jun 10, 2020 by AFP

To confront the coronavirus pandemic and prepare for the next crisis, it’s time to reimagine health care.

We can start working toward this goal by continuing to remove barriers that prevent patients from getting the access to care they deserve. Beginning in Washington, it is crucial for Congress to recognize that these reforms are saving lives and make them permanent, so we are better prepared for the next crisis.

“COVID-19 caught America off guard,” says internal medicine specialist Dr. Camille Honesty in a new video released by Americans for Prosperity. “Health care had to change — and it did.”

In the beginning of the crisis, burdensome FDA regulations prevented Americans from easily accessing COVID-19 tests.

As Dr. Honesty alludes in the video, after these federal restrictions were eased, more tests entered the market, giving more people the opportunity to be tested.

By allowing innovators to do what they do best, the quality of tests also improved, with results able to be confirmed in less than an hour.

Now, individuals have an easier time getting the answers they desperately need, at a lower cost than before.

One study showed that at least 38 percent of in-person visits, including 27 percent of emergency department visits, could be remotely delivered by qualified professionals through telemedicine.”

Short-term reforms in telemedicine also allowed families to see a doctor from the safety of their homes without risking exposure to the virus.

Other burdensome regulations were relaxed as well, giving patients access to life-saving treatments.

Unfortunately, these reforms were intended only for the short-term.

As Doctor Honesty explains, “These reforms are saving lives, but they are only temporary. Washington needs to make them permanent, so we’re not caught off guard again.”

If the COVID-19 crisis has shown us anything, it’s that doubling down on today’s bureaucratic approach to health care won’t work.

This short-term progress occurred because we listened to health care professionals who are closest to the problems we faced.

We shouldn’t wait for the next crisis to make these reforms permanent.

Sign the letter telling Congress to take action now on these health care solutions.