Kitchen Table Economics

Let the Free Market Fix Health Care

Health care in the U.S. remains a challenge that needs to be tackled. While some in Congress have proposed a government takeover of the industry—commonly referred to as Medicare for All—the solution should instead require less government, not more.

In fact, the free market has already generated several new options that are driving down health care costs and employing innovation to improve care.

  • Short-Term Health Plans: These health plans are a more affordable alternative to traditional health coverage. These plans can be extended for up to three years and are not subject to all the regulations other coverage options are required to follow under Obamacare. Therefore, younger and healthier Americans can attain less extensive coverage at a cheaper price point.
  • Association Health Plans (AHP): Expanded AHPs allow small businesses to join together and negotiate for health care plans usually set aside for larger corporations. Therefore, health coverage is both more affordable and likely grants access to a larger network of hospitals, doctors and specialists.
  • Membership-Based Medical Practices: These health care clubs offer members unlimited access to primary care doctors, as well as routine medical services, for as low as $35 per month. Because administrative costs are mitigated and prices transparent, the cost of standard procedures and tests are provided at very low price points.

Health care is not a one-size fits all issue and requires many options to cover differing needs. The government should therefore allow the free market to find new pathways forward.