On January 5, Donald Trump mocked "head clown" Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Twitter for opposing his plans to fix the Obamacare disaster. That brought to mind this ad Heartland ran in 2009 to try to stop Obamacare. So the analogy has now come full circle.
The Democrats, lead by head clown Chuck Schumer, know how bad ObamaCare is and what a mess they are in. Instead of working to fix it, they..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017
The proper role of government in financing and delivering health care is one of the hottest public policy issues of our time.
Some experts call for more regulation and more subsidies, while others call for less. All levels of government in the U.S. are coping with rising spending on health care for their own workforces and rapidly rising spending on programs for the poor and elderly.
With the increasing encroachment of the national government in health care policy over the past several decades, states are limited in their ability to influence health care policy in tangible ways without being granted permission by Washington, DC. Many policy options that would result in lower premium costs and higher quality care are not available to the states. But states are not entirely without options for improving coverage and laying the groundwork for innovative reforms of an entitlement system that currently fails the people it endeavors to help.
One of the most common criticisms against free market reforms is the myth that our supposedly free-market health care system before the Affordable Care Act caused health insurance and health care costs to rise, leaving millions of people uninsured. This is untrue. The fact is the United States had a government-mismanaged market in health care that public policy distorted and often blocked from properly functioning.
Numerous laws and regulations--ERISA, HIPAPA, McCarran-Ferguson, HMO Act, state benefit mandates, to name just a few--have turned health care into one of the most heavily regulated markets in America, doing much to hinder and destroy the innovation needed to lower costs and improve quality.
A national debate is taking place concerning the best ways to achieve a more efficient and equitable market for medical services and health insurance in the U.S. Advocates of free-market health care believe too much reliance on government regulations and subsidies is the cause of many current problems, and that solutions can be found in returning to sound market principles.
To move our health care system to one that is truly a market, one that improves quality while also reducing costs, will require repealing many bad public policies. New health care policies should focus on reducing the current reliance on third-party payers, encouraging both innovation and entrepreneurship, moving control over health care decisions to patients and rolling back the burdensome regulations reducing health care access and increasing costs. New innovations emerge in health care every day; products and services like health savings accounts, telemedicine, minute clinics and direct primary care could improve the cost and access of health care for millions if the government could only step out of the way.
The Heartland Institute's experts on health care policy are available for legislative testimony, speaking engagements, and media interviews.