Seven reforms to lower costs and increase access to care
The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a new policy brief that proposes seven healthcare solutions, many with bipartisan support, that aim to lower the cost of healthcare and increase access. Despite differences over the role of government in health insurance coverage, policymakers can find common ground and work within the framework of the Affordable Care Act to address some concerns about increasing costs and the ability to access care.
The Policies: Seven common sense reforms for healthcare in Wisconsin by Research Director Will Flanders and Research Associate Cori Petersen provides a set of limited policy solutions to address some of the concerns that all Wisconsinites have about healthcare: the high cost and concerns about access to care. WILL’s seven solutions are uniquely tailored to those problems, many with bipartisan support.
- Direct Primary Care – Direct primary care offers one of the best avenues to cut out the costly insurance middlemen and allow patients and doctors to decide on care through transparent, up-front prices.
- Create a Dental Therapy License – The creation of a dental therapy license (less than a dentist but more than a dental hygienist) could increase access and lower the cost of routine dental care, particularly in rural Wisconsin.
- Free Speech in Medicine – Doctors and patients deserve to have all the information necessary. But the FDA prevents drug manufacturers from freely providing information on safe off-label uses of prescription drugs.
- Take full advantage of Short-Term Limited Duration Plans –The Affordable Care Act created uniform insurance regulations that eliminated much of the variety of insurance coverage. But not everyone needs, or even wants the same coverage. Short-term limited duration health plans are a flexible, low-cost alternative that consumers deserve to access. Wisconsin should match the federal government and allow consumers to purchase up to three years of coverage.
- Take full advantage of healthcare freedom in U.S. Territories – One place the Affordable Care Act’s onerous, one-size-fits-all insurance regulations didn’t apply was U.S. territories. Wisconsin citizens ought to be able to purchase those insurance plans if they happen to fit their needs.
- Repeal Minimum Markup on Prescription Drugs – Wisconsin’s minimum markup law prevents retailers from selling prescription drugs below cost – even if they want to. Discount retailers aren’t currently able to offer $4 prescriptions on some generic drugs due to the law.
- Reform Retroactive Eligibility for Medicaid – Controlling the cost of Medicaid without compromising care is critical. Wisconsin should remove any incentive for those eligible for Medicaid to avoid enrollment until after a medical procedure. This will be better for taxpayers and patients.
The Quote: Research Director Will Flanders said, “While liberals and conservatives might not always agree on the means, we are often concerned about the same ends – lowering costs and increasing access to care. This new report tries to provide ideas with unique appeal that could move the ball towards addressing those concerns.”
Read WILL’s Healthcare Solutions policy brief HERE.