In the Oath of Hippocrates, physicians promise to work for the good of their patients, according to the best of their ability and judgment, and to do no harm. We support a return to this ethic in American medicine, and oppose policies that harm patients by subjugating care to the interest of the government and third parties.
- Overregulation and mandates restrict access, stifle innovation, impede transparency, block competition & raise costs.
- Fraud, waste, and shortages are rampant because special favors to middlemen.
- Employer-based and government-run insurance discourages rational insurance practices.
- Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupting the federal government, states, and doctors.
- In the era of COVID, the consequences of usurping of patient and physician autonomy and freedoms are becoming increasingly apparent and dangerous.
Proposed Solutions: to protect freedom, increase options, encourage competition, and unwind unsustainable spending.
- End mask, vaccine, and other mandates and policies that intrude on patient autonomy. This also includes protecting Americans from World Health Organization policies that too often become mandates.
- Protect physician and patient freedom of speech in all venues, including the Internet. The government and media must not limit legal speech and must be transparent about their sources of funding and control. (See Texas HB 20.)
- Protect physician and patient autonomy in treatment and vaccination decisions. Early treatment for COVID saves lives and should not be improperly blocked by government or other bureaucrats. See AZ SB 1416 and MO HB 2149). Vaccine mandates are hurting vulnerable patients at low risk for COVID and must end. (See FL HB 1B, 3B, 5B, 7B).
- Protect due process rights of physicians who too often face retaliation, simply for advocating for patients, by employers, hospital administrators, licensing boards, and others who control their ability to practice. Needed reforms include repealing HCQIA’s qualified immunity for sham peer review, reform of the National Practitioner Databank, and rights for physicians employed by private equity controlled corporations.
- Work toward independence from China CCP medications, tech, manufacturing, goods and WHO influence.
- End regulations blocking alternatives to ACA, employment-based, Medicare, and Medicaid plans, while allowing those who wish to keep their current government plan to do so.
- End ACA’s ban on physician owned hospitals. Section 6001 of the Affordable Care Act of amended section 1877 of the Social Security Act to generally prohibited those who know best how to care for patients from running the facilities where care for the most seriously ill and injured often takes place.
- Encourage transparency. Health care entities receiving taxpayer-subsidized funds from any source must disclose all prices that are accepted as payment in full for products and services furnished to individual consumers. Transparency by agencies (FDA, CDC, NIH, etc.) that control and influence health policy and treatment guidelines is also paramount. Transparency in training, so that patients know the qualifications of the clinicians caring for them, is also needed as patients are increasingly pushed to obtain care from individuals with significantly less training than physicians. Databases disclosing potential conflicts of interest must include all entities receiving or offering payments (e.g. device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, PBMs, GPOs, hospitals, insurers) not just physicians.
- Remove legal protection for kickbacks. Remedy GPO and PBM abuse of safe harbors by encouraging Congress to repeal 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(3)(C) and amplifying HHS-OIG efforts to stop exploitation of 42 C.F.R. § 1001.952(j) and related regulations. Ending kickbacks is a crucial aspect of ending America’s reliance on China for drugs and supplies.
- Decouple Social Security benefits from Medicare Part A. Citizens should be permitted to disenroll from Medicare Part A without forgoing Social Security payments. This would immediately decrease government spending and open the potential for a true insurance market for the over-65 population.
- Repeal Medicaid rules that decrease Medicaid patients’ access to independent physicians. ACA requires physicians ordering and prescribing for Medicaid patients to be enrolled in Medicaid. This creates barriers for Medicaid patients who seek care from independent physicians but wish to use Medicaid benefits for prescriptions, diagnostics, and hospital fees. This is a particular problem for Medicaid patients seeking treatment for opioid addiction.
- Explicitly define direct patient care (DPC) agreements as medical care (instead of insurance) so patients can use their HSAs, HRAs and FSAs for DPC.
- Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Examples of needed reform include repealing the requirement that an individual making a tax-deductible contribution to an HSA be covered by a high deductible health care plan; increasing the maximum HSA contribution level; allowing Medicare eligible individuals to contribute to an HSA. HSA reform will help end tax discrimination. Individual’s payments for medical care should not be taxed differently than payments made by employers.
- End Restrictions on Health Sharing Ministries. Open the door for secular charitable sharing plans. Health Care Sharing Plans engage in voluntary sharing and are not a contractual transfer of risk.
- Encourage indemnity insurance and competition instead of managed care HMO plans. No limited networks of physicians and facilities.
- Address shortcomings of the No Surprises Act, that unfairly increase insurance company control over the ability of patients’ to access care from the physicians of their choice on mutually agreeable terms and that increase red tape for physicians.
- Increase options for addressing pre-existing conditions. Invigoration of competition, by implementing the above changes, would bring a variety of products for patients with pre-existing conditions, including reinsurance, and inexpensive guaranteed issue and renewability protections, and most importantly, lower overall cost of care.
Conclusion: Congress has passed law after law that disrupts the patient-physician relationship, corrupts medical decision making, and increases costs. During the COVID era, overregulation and regulatory capture is a greater threat to our nation than ever. Harmful laws and policies cannot be fixed by adding new regulatory burdens or further usurping patient and physician autonomy. True reform starts with repealing laws and correcting errors, restoring the freedom, under constitutionally limited government, that made America great.