The Pandemic is exposing flaws in our healthcare system now more than ever, but these problems have solutions.
Problem: Our Healthcare System Is Employer-Centric
As millions of Americans lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, they also lost their job-provided health insurance. Even outside of a pandemic, our employer-centric health insurance system:
- Isn’t portable and doesn’t work for Americans who change jobs an average of 12 times.
- Is inequitable: Those with good jobs and incomes are favored.
- Limits choice: Eighty percent of employers only offer one plan.
SOLUTION: Expand health insurance options, particularly for those without job-based coverage by making Health Savings Accounts universally available.
Problem: Our System Lacks Transparency
The pandemic has harmed almost every industry, including hospitals. More than 200 hospitals have furloughed workers due to budget shortfalls. But patients know little about hospital budgets. In fact, we don’t even know what prices we will be charged for health care we consume. This lack of price transparency:
- Limits competition: The vast majority of healthcare spending (over 90 percent) is on services that are shoppable (not emergencies). Patients should be free to shop.
- Drives up healthcare spending: The average household spends $28,000 per year on health care and coverage.
- Creates uncertainty: Fully 57 percent of Americans report receiving a “surprise” medical bill. This fosters a lack of trust between patients and the medical system.
SOLUTION: Lower prices by making them transparent.
Problem: Our System Is Over-Regulated
Prior to the pandemic, there were many rules in place that made health care more bureaucratic, slow, and expensive.
- States and the federal government acted swiftly to get rid of unnecessary red tape (e.g., the recognition of medical licenses across state lines, the expansion of telehealth) with no impact on patient care.
- This suggests that many regulations in health care were never needed in the first place.
SOLUTION: Make COVID-19 deregulatory changes permanent to foster flexibility and lower costs.
Click here to read the full policy focus and learn more about paid leave and the pandemic