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s Ten Principles of Health Care Policy (2017)

The Heartland Institute’s Consumers for Health Care Choices is working with allies to build a national grassroots movement in favor of consumer-driven health care. Instead of more regulations, mandates, and government entitlement programs, we support reforms that make private insurance less expensive and more portable and put patients in charge of a greater portion of their health care spending.

Waste and inefficiency are easily identified in our hospitals, government programs, and private insurance markets. We see it in the number of people who lack health insurance, the lack of price transparency in much of the health care system, the high rate of medical mistakes in hospitals, and the massive transfers of income – often from the poor and uninsured to the well-to-do and insured – that the current system generates.

A good health care system wouldn’t employ armies of gatekeepers to intrude in the relationship between doctors and patients, wouldn’t require lawsuits to ensure that victims of malpractice get adequate compensation or that incompetent providers lose their licenses, and wouldn’t require patients to wait eight to ten years for potentially life-saving drugs.

Since 2001, the consumer-driven health care movement has had a national outreach publication: Health Care News, published by The Heartland Institute. The publication provides robust and sustained investigation of the effects of government health care policies, with a primary editorial focus on the interests of consumers. By bringing scientific and economic facts to the forefront of an emotionally charged debate, Health Care News aims to provide solid, proven, research-based evidence for the best approaches to health care reform and policy at the state and national levels.

We need health care reform now

The nation’s system of private competitive health care finance and delivery is under attack by activist elected officials, advocacy groups, over-zealous regulators, and some of the biggest foundations in the United States. No plan to regulate or subsidize health care seems to be too radical or extreme not to be taken seriously by reporters and policymakers. Many of these same activists are targeting food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, and our food supply with lawsuits, regulation, and punitive taxation.

Who will stand up to defend doctors in private practice, private insurers, prescription drug manufacturers, nonprofit and investor-owned hospitals, and most importantly, health care consumers? Where are the advocates for markets and sound science in health care policy? Where is the “grassroots movement” in favor of consumer-driven health care?

Consumers for Health Care Choices at The Heartland Institute is playing a major role in the effort to build a robust national movement for consumer-driven health care. Health Care News, Consumer Power Report and our Policy Studies, Policy Briefs, and Research & Commentary collections are giving elected officials the intellectual ammunition they need to defend free-market health care reform and consumer choice.

Heartland’s highly effective communications and government relations programs ensure our ideas are reaching policymakers and an extensive network of supporters and industry leaders. Social media sites allow us to reach large new audiences, giving health care consumers a much more effective voice in the national debate.


Title: Government Health Care Fails People With Significant Disabilities
Description: Congress is preparing to revamp health care with either a “public option” or a reduced age to qualify for Medicare. Melissa Davert shares why this move will be to the detriment of those with significant health care needs. Davert and her college-aged, twin children have osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition that makes bones fragile, causes heart and spine issues, and short stature. Her husband has cerebral palsy. Despite these health issues, every family member works or attends college. Due to their unique situation, the Daverts seeks reasonably priced health care through the private market, something they had before Obamacare took effect. Melissa discusses lifetime savings accounts, high-risk pools and “centers of excellence,” or a Medicare Advantage-type plan, as better ways to cover their needs than Medicaid. Due to government intrusion in health care, Medicaid seems to be one of the few choices her children have left. The family wants to work and save for the future, but under Medicaid, they are restricted from acquiring assets. The current system also makes their physicians go through hoops to get approval from insurance for treatment. Host AnneMarie Schieber met the Daverts in 2014 when Obamacare went into effect. At the time, the family had to scramble to find care for the insurance Obamacare nullified. That video can be seen here: Melissa’s situation was also profiled in a report by the Republican Study Committee in 2019.…health-care-plan


The Heartland Institute's experts on health care policy are available for legislative testimony, speaking engagements, and media interviews.

Christina Herrin
Campaign Manager, Free to Choose Medicine
Christina Herrin is the Campaign Manager for Free to Choose Medicine.
Justin Haskins
Editorial Director and Research Fellow
Justin Haskins is the Editorial Director and a Research Fellow at The Heartland Institute.
Tim Benson
Policy Analyst, Host of the "Ill Literacy: Books with Benson" Podcast
Tim Benson joined The Heartland Institute in September 2015 as a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department.
S.T. Karnick
Director of Publications
S.T. Karnick is the director of publications for The Heartland Institute.
Christopher Talgo
Editor & Research Fellow
Chris Talgo is editor and research fellow for the Stopping Socialism project of The Heartland Institute.