“Virtually everything that the government does costs more than when the same thing is done in private industry – whether it is building housing, running prisons, collecting garbage, or innumerable other things. Why in the world would we imagine that health care would be the exception?” – Thomas Sowell
Though we’ve seen Sowell’s words proven time and time again, the fight over greater government regulations of healthcare continue to be front and center when it comes to economic policy. The US Supreme Court recently laid to rest any hope of overturning Obamacare through the courts, so it is up to policymakers to pass legislation that protects the American family’s ability to make their own decisions about their healthcare with their physician.
Healthcare is nearly twenty percent of the national economy. More than that, from the beginning of life to the end, everyone needs access to healthcare. It is the one area of the family budget that can cripple their finances completely, so it is critical to get meaningful reform. With so much at stake, the left, as always, thinks that if they could only control a little bit more, everything would be better. And when the results are tallied, they want their “good intentions” to be measured and not the actual results. The left believes that the answer to healthcare reform in the United States is more government intervention. This would create more problems than it solves.
It will take thoughtful, conservative policy directed at protecting the doctor-patient relationship coupled with sound, free market principles that maximize choice and, ultimately, drive down costs in healthcare. Maximizing an individual’s control of their healthcare dollars will keep the government regulators at bay and allow for true reform.
Free market forces have shown that healthcare costs can be driven down when they are allowed to play out. For instance, two areas in healthcare that have proven this are the Lasix procedure and Medicare Advantage program. Competition has driven down cost and increased quality for ophthalmologic patients. Giving seniors a choice in privately run Medicare plans has saved taxpayers money.
The system has been filled with so many perverse incentives over the last century that it will take thoughtful reform from policymakers with a strong backbone to stand up for individuals and put them in control of their healthcare dollars, whether it be in direct spending or by allowing for individual portability and choice in their insurance policies.
Uncertainty can be crippling. In many, it turns an energetic “can-do” spirit into a cautious “wait and see” mentality. In 2011, more than half of
Alabama Policy Institute Releases Report on Possible Impacts from the Coronavirus on State Budgets, Healthcare, and more
Today (April 2, 2020) the Alabama Policy Institute released a report entitled “COVID-19 in Alabama: A Primer on the Impacts of the Coronavirus on the State.” The report details the possible unprecedented impacts of the coronavirus on the health, social well-being, economy, and state government of Alabama.