Health care consistently ranks near the top of the American voter’s list of concerns and is likely to remain there. Indeed, in Americans for Prosperity’s latest healthcare voteconducted June 22 by Public Opinion Strategies, health care ranks first after inflation and jobs.
The vast majority of voters reject the government’s takeover of health care – they want to preserve what works and fix what does not. But you’d never know it from listening to the candidates on this year’s campaign trail. With the midterm elections looming, the country’s two major parties are presenting voters with an unpalatable choice between Democrats’ failed health care ideas and Republicans’ seeming unwillingness to discuss theirs.
That’s a shame, because while 70% of Americans are satisfied with their current health coverage arrangements, AFP polls show that 70% are also upset by some big problems. Voters are frustrated by the rising and rising cost of health care, its baffling complexity, and the rapidly diminishing access to reliable doctors and facilities. And although they may not understand exactly how the current system favors private interests, and is dominated by insurance companies and government bureaucracies, they clearly see the negative effects and want change.
Instead of practical solutions to these problems, what do the parties offer? Democrats are doubling down on current government programs like Obamacare and Medicaid and calling for intrusive and innovation-stifling government price controls — failed policies that are more likely to make things worse, not better.
Many Republicans, amazingly, Silence on this issue.
Both parties are separate from each other. This creates an opening at the heart of the debate for open-minded, pragmatic candidates who take voters’ concerns seriously and offer rational policies to address them.
More than 80 think-tanks and research organizations, including ours, have tried to do just that–find a reasonable compromise on health reform that could break the current partisan impasse. We have studied the issues and came up with a series of detailed recommendations, which we call healthcare options agenda.
The Goodman Institute and the Heritage Foundation have distilled these ideas into some easy-to-understand ideas, Practical fixes. At the same time, AFP activists across the country are mobilizing support for many of these reforms under the banner of “Give Americans”personal choice. “
Here are ten of the most important recommendations:
1. Allow families to have insurance that meets their medical and financial needs, instead of charging unaffordable deductibles and exorbitant premiums.
2. Allow families to access the best doctors and the best hospitals, instead of the narrow networks that deny them the care they need.
3. Allow employees to access personal and mobile health insurance that travels with them from job to job and from the labor market and beyond.
4. Make virtual medicine always an option, so patients can get more care in their own homes.
5. Allow families to have low-cost, 24/7, insurance-free primary care including phone, email, and virtual visits — at night and on weekends.
6. So they are treated like valued customers, let patients who want to do this manage more of their healthcare money.
7. Let seniors get the same opportunities as younger people, including access to healthy savings accounts.
8. Let families know the exact price of care ahead of time, so they can plan accordingly and save money by making smarter choices.
9. Allow chronic disease patients to access centers of excellence specialized in their cases.
10. Allow Medicaid enrollees to have the same private insurance as other families.
Support for this agenda is growing among critics, service providers, and policy makers. In fact, it polls the graphs. In AFP polls, where it has been described as a “personal choice,” it beats Democrats’ “public choice” plan by 8 points (54 percent to 46 percent) and outperforms Medicare for All by 24 points (62 percent). ) percent to 28 percent) – a landslide.
Politically, it gives free-market advocates something we’ve never had before: a universal health care agenda that resonates with voters.
Importantly, it will not disrupt existing healthcare arrangements or weaken existing government safety nets or insurance safeguards. Instead, it will give you more control over your own care and empower doctors with new and better ways to meet your needs.
The healthcare experience will no longer be such an ordeal. It would be like shopping online or at your favorite grocery store. You’ll enjoy a large selection, clearly marked prices, and far fewer hassles and surprises.
This agenda is achievable. It should be hailed as a bipartisan.
It certainly offers voters an even more exciting view of the current binary option between failed ideas and no ideas.
John C. Goodman is the president and CEO of the Goodman Institute. Dean Clancy is a senior fellow in health policy at Americans for Prosperity.