Dear Chairman Alexander,
Thank you very much for asking America’s MD and DO Physicians to weigh in on solutions to improve Americans’ health and launch an efficient and sustainable path for the healthcare ecosystem.
The first critical step is educating your colleagues that there is a difference between medical care and health insurance. My recent article published in Medical Economics may help policymakers understand that the difference matters: https://www.medicaleconomics.com/med-ec-blog/what-healthcare
Solving the current healthcare policy disaster ultimately means less federal intervention and regulation, combined with more freedom and liberty.
1. Expanded universal HSA heath savings accounts for all, independent of insurance, and usable for every healthcare service, medication and device.
2. Remove ACA restrictions on insurance policies and stop multi-billion dollar bailouts of the insurance industry. Insurers have driven up costs. Instead allow a diversity of insurance plans to compete side by side: from catastrophic with high deductible to first dollar HMO-coverage. Unique individuals should be shopping for unique plans to suit their own needs.
3. Repeal the Group Purchasing Organization safe harbor to the Anti Kickback Statute that is also being abused by Pharmacy Benefits Managers. The federal government has permitted kickbacks disguised as “rebates“ for decades and it must stop. Make kickbacks illegal again. GPO and PBM middleman must compete legally and not extort manufacturers.
4. Innovative solutions like Direct Primary Care (DPC), and similar direct payment arrangements between specialists and their patients are must not be subject to over-regulation under insurance rules . These arrangements are not insurance but cut out the third party bureaucracy driving up the cost of care. DPC serves to strengthen patient-physician relationships not interfere in them. This healing relationship is critical for regaining health and health maintenance. It makes both patients and physicians responsible to each other directly, as it should be.
5. Allow physicians and patients to opt out of Medicare, MACRA, and other top-down government programs. They should be voluntary, not compulsory. Direct contracting between patient and physicians will save lives and tax dollars.
6. Consider legislation to protect patient access to physicians of their choice, even if they are not in their plan’s network. Narrow networks serve to trap patients into obtaining care in the most expensive settings instead of from higher quality and less expensive options like independent physicians.
Please feel free to contact me via letter, email, social media, phone, or any other mechanism for short and long-term planning. Together we can harness free market and personal individual responsibility to organically solve America’s healthcare crisis.
My article catalog: https://www.medicaleconomics.com/authors/craig-m-wax-do
Best wishes for good health,
Craig M. Wax, DO
VP Healthcare Policy, Practicing Physicians of America
National Physicians Council on Healthcare Policy member
Independent Physicians for Patient Independence
Host of Your Health Matters
Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS FM