Healthcare Issue Briefs
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
February 6, 2020
The American healthcare sector is a system of stark contradictions. The healthcare system simultaneously drives innovation through the invention of life-saving medications and operations, yet is plagued by bloat and inefficiency due to an onerous government-driven system of overregulation. It is difficult to concisely diagnose the problems plaguing the U.S. healthcare system due to these contradictions, but that has not stopped politicians, policymakers, and pundits from trying. Depending on the news sources (or Twitter feeds) consulted, America either already has socialized medicine or a Darwinian, capitalistic system that profits off of the death and suffering of patients.
In reality, neither characterization is accurate. Drug manufacturers and medical device companies find that America has strong intellectual property incentives and protected profits which foster innovation and allow for the arrival of life-saving new products to market. At the same time, regulations micromanage nearly every aspect of the care and insurance services that Americans enjoy access to. As a result, patients regularly pay for services they may not want or need, and face tax penalties for seeking alternative (and often more cost-effective) medical provider arrangements (e.g. hospice care, concierge medicine). Furthermore, repeated government interventions into the medical sector have resulted in unintended consequences such as the narrowing of insurance networks leading to the rise of “surprise medical bills.”
Despite these clear negative consequences of government meddling in medicine, politicians want to increase federal clout over the healthcare system even more by price-fixing services and having the U.S. move toward a fully socialized system. TPA regularly points out the flaws of these proposals and how “fixing” problems created by big government with even bigger government will simply make the problem worse. TPA also works to keep patients updated as to the latest regulatory developments in healthcare policy. As part of our fight for patient choice and freedom, TPA created the following healthcare policy briefs to provide patients and policymakers with a greater understanding of government policies and proposals pertaining to the medical sector. TPA explains the history and provides descriptions of current policies for five issues areas (Billing, Medicare-for-All, Tax Policy, End-of-Life, Prescriptions) and proposes market-based solutions to improve the quality of healthcare while lowering costs for patients. If members of Congress and agency officials implement these recommendations, patients can continue to enjoy the best aspects of the current system without the high costs presently paid for by consumers and taxpayers.