Last week, JLF’s Jordan Roberts published an opinion piece in the Fayetteville Observer on methods to lower the cost of health care. According to Roberts, health care expenditures have gotten out-of-hand:
Inflation-adjusted national health expenditures per person were $2,848 in 1980. In 2017, Americans paid $10,379 per person in health expenditures. In 2018, U.S. hospitals received more from the average family than the federal government did in taxes.
Roberts proposes five ways to lower these escalating costs:
- Reform the state’s Certificate-of-Need laws… These laws protect market incumbents while artificially limiting competition and raising prices
- Remove regulatory burdens on nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). These highly trained medical professionals are subject to regulations which limit their accessibility and also increase costs
- Embrace association health plans for small businesses, including sole proprietors… By changing our state insurance regulations, we can give small businesses and sole proprietors access to plans that are often more affordable than those sold on the insurance exchanges
- Make it easier for licensed medical professionals who are in good standing in other states to care for North Carolinians… [One way] We can increase access to telemedicine by allowing out-of-state professionals to treat patients in North Carolina via telecommunications
- [And] create a mechanism to allow for periodic review and sunsetting of insurance benefits mandates… North Carolina insurers must, by law, cover roughly 50 benefits even when a customer doesn’t want and wouldn’t use the coverage. Benefit mandates also hamper competition since all insurers are required to offer the same benefits.
It’s hard to find anyone, regardless of politics or ideology, who doesn’t want to lower the cost of care. That’s why we shouldn’t pass up this opportunity to act — now. Working together, we can make life more affordable and provide the peace of mind that makes life more fulfilling.