Healthcare policy is one of the more contentious subjects in politics today. Disagreements on both sides of the aisle primarily include how much of a role government should play, as well as whether insurance providers act in their customers’ best interests. There are three areas where both parties agree, including increasing innovation, allowing market competition, and reducing drug costs.
Leverage Innovation to Reduce Costs
Several types of innovation have shown promise in healthcare. According to Carenet’s ebook, telehealth is already increasing access and lowering the costs of some services. This option is ideal for rural areas that are often medically underserved.
Patient navigator services also prove helpful in preventing readmissions, one of the highest costs in modern healthcare. Options that allow patients to connect with a navigator with questions, often online, can also help reduce the number of trips back and forth to medical offices. Follow-up care after a diagnosis can account for a lot of resources used in healthcare.
Use the Market to Facilitate Competition
A common point that many raise is that market forces don’t work because Americans don’t shop for healthcare like a commodity. Opponents of the healthcare as a commodity view see healthcare as a public good. However, many who take the public good view of healthcare also see market forces as having a hand in accessibility.
One of the ways many hope to make health coverage more accessible is through increased competition in the marketplace. A method that the market might use to accomplish this goal is by increasing public options, making them competitors with private providers in the market. If there is competition from public insurance, private insurers will lower their costs.
Lowering Drug Costs
People on both sides of the aisle often agree that drug prices are too costly. According to GoodRx, in 2015, Americans spent a higher rate on drugs than anywhere else in the world. Some of the finer points where there is room for bipartisan agreement include importing Canadian drugs and greater pricing accountability. Being able to import drugs from Canada has long been seen as a possible solution.
Transparency in pricing also matters, especially those who require expensive prescriptions. Price structure transparency for benefits managers has long been on the priority list for many legislators. Another proposal that has attracted a lot of attention is a requirement for pharmaceutical companies to justify any price hikes that occur.
Regardless of political affiliation, most people can agree that something needs to be done about the current healthcare system. Even though both major parties have some differences in opinion on healthcare, common ground can bring about the necessary changes.
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