House GOP Task Force Aims to Cut Health Care Costs, Boost Patients’ Choices
By Representatives Kevin Hern, Rick Allen, and Victoria Spartz for the Daily Signal
Everyone agrees: Health care in America is too expensive and too complicated.
Democrats want to double down on a centralized, Washington-controlled plan for your health care. We’ve seen the damaging impact that has had on the quality of, and access to, care in socialist countries abroad.
Republicans know that to fix the health care system and lower costs, we need to increase patient control and options.
That’s why we’ve been hard at work on the Healthy Future Task Force, a team made up of Republican health policy leaders, to deliver real results that produce tangible savings for Americans. Over the past year, we heard from 150 groups—including small businesses, patients, patient advocates, and innovative health companies—on numerous ideas to reduce the cost of health care and insurance coverage.
To address these concerns, the Task Force’s Affordability Subcommittee is putting forward recommendations to improve health insurance and health care options for Americans, increase innovation and transparency, and lower costs by promoting competition.
Almost half of all Americans—more than 155 million people—rely on their employers for health insurance. The House Republican Task Force developed solutions to give these employees better, more affordable options for their health care. We want America’s workers to get the services they need from the medical providers they choose, even if they change jobs.
First, Congress should make health savings accounts more accessible and portable, so more people can have control over their health care spending.
To keep costs low for employers, Congress should eliminate unnecessary paperwork mandates to reduce the administrative burden. Congress also should allow small employers to form associations to increase their purchasing power and negotiate more choices of affordable coverage for their employees.
Quality would not be sacrificed as the task force’s solutions lower costs. In fact, Congress can encourage innovative ways for employers to deliver care to their workers, such as centers for excellence focusing on high-quality care for employees with diabetes.
To genuinely lower the underlying cost of health care, however, the American people must know the true cost of services so they can shop for the best value. That’s how every other market works in our economy.
Health care providers and insurers are required by law to disclose costs to patients in advance of their appointments, but the Biden administration has failed to implement this provision and deliver this unprecedented and revolutionary transparency to patients. The American people deserve better.
Price transparency is key to empowering consumers and to increasing choices and competition. Americans deserve to know the cost of health care before they receive it. But in several areas throughout the country, unhealthy levels of consolidation among hospitals and health plans have left patients with only one choice. That leads to rising prices, lower quality of care, and worse long-term health outcomes.
To address that, Republicans will identify and eliminate payment incentives and billing practices that reward harmful consolidation in the health care system and increase costs for patients. Congress must also repeal the laws that prevent medical providers from opening and operating new facilities to increase competition and give patients more options for their care.
America’s changing workforce deserves a flexible health care system that responds to its needs, not bureaucratic rules. It’s long past time to eliminate burdensome laws and regulations that make health care more complicated and that limit options for families.
Our goal is to fix the system. With the solutions the Healthy Future Task Force has developed over the past year, we can make a substantial impact for the better.