Ten Ways to Improve US Healthcare and Make it More Affordable

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The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has provided reform-minded Congressmen a one-page outline of ways to “increase options, encourage competition, and unwind unsustainable spending in American medicine.”

Americans need more choices, not fewer, AAPS states. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prevents patients from choosing more affordable and desirable alternatives to the costly federal mandate-loaded ACA plans.

“Overregulation and mandates restrict access, stifle innovation, impede transparency, block competition, and raise costs,” AAPS writes.

AAPS also calls for removing barriers to Medicare and Medicaid patients seeking private options. “Citizens should be permitted to disenroll from Medicare Part A without forgoing Social Security payments. This would immediately decrease government spending and open the potential for a true insurance market for the over-65 population.”

Medicaid patients should also be allowed access to independent physicians, AAPS suggests. ACA requires physicians ordering and prescribing for Medicaid patients to be enrolled in Medicaid. This creates barriers for Medicaid patients who seek care from independent physicians but wish to use Medicaid benefits for prescriptions, diagnostics, and hospital fees. This is especially a problem for Medicaid patients seeking treatment for opioid addiction.

AAPS advocates seeking better options for addressing pre-existing conditions. ACA’s guaranteed issue/ community rating may sound attractive, but if prices are capped at what healthy patients will pay, the quality of coverage for sick patients plummets.

AAPS also asks Congress to:

  • Explicitly define direct patient care (DPC) agreements as medical care, not insurance;
  • Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs);
  • End restrictions on health sharing ministries;
  • End tax discrimination against individually owned insurance or out-of-pocket payment compared with payment through an employer-provided plan;
  • Encourage indemnity insurance instead of plans with limited networks of physicians and facilities; and
  • Encourage price transparency.

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