We, the undersigned leaders of state think tanks, believe that expanding the role of government in the health care market is not the change that America needs. Congress should focus on a patient-centered approach to health care reform that respects the patient-doctor relationship and empowers the patient and the doctor to make effective and economical health policy choices.
To read a full report on patient-centered reforms from
economist Art Laffer, click here.
A patient-centered health care reform:
Begins with individual ownership of insurance policies. The tax deduction that allows employers to own your insurance should instead be given to the individual
Leverages Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs empower individuals to monitor their health care costs and create incentives for individuals to use only those services that are necessary
Allows interstate purchasing of insurance. Policies in some states are more affordable because they include fewer bells and whistles, and consumers should be empowered to decide which benefits they need and what prices they are willing to pay
Reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. Empowering consumers to choose which benefits they need is only effective if insurers are able to fill these needsReallocates the majority of Medicaid spending into simple vouchers for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. An income-based sliding scale voucher program would eliminate much of the massive bureaucracy that is needed to implement today’s complex and burdensome Medicaid system and produce considerable cost savings
Eliminates unnecessary scope-of-practice laws and allows non-physician health care professionals practice to the extent of their education and training. Retail clinics have shown that increasing the provider pool safely increases competition and access to care and empowers the patient to decide from whom they receive their care
Reforms tort liability laws. Defensive medicine needlessly drives up medical costs and creates an adversarial relationship between doctors and patients
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