Wyoming Liberty Group
Several states have been moving their health care systems in a more patient centered direction. Reforms that empower patients to find better value in their health care systems is a win-win scenario for both the patient and taxpayers. Their patients now have both the right information and incentives to find the best health care at the lowest price.
Listen in as Charlie Katebi talks about two such reforms in this week's Wyoming Liberty Group podcast.
If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.
Choosing to expand Medicaid is like deciding to marry for the sake of a dream honeymoon when disillusionment is the likely outcome. Fortunately, seven members of the Joint Appropriations Committee rescued Wyoming from a looming and ill-conceived entitlement marriage by voting to strip Medicaid Expansion from the 2017-18 budget appropriations bill.
Governor Mead is by no stretch of the imagination a visionary government reformer. However, he took a big step towards expanding healthcare access in Wyoming by signing the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact into law. This will allow out-of-state physicians to practice medicine in Wyoming and lower healthcare costs for patients.
Physicians that wish to practice in Wyoming must receive a license from the Wyoming Board of Medicine. However, every state has virtually identical requirements for a doctor to receive a license. Prospective physicians must graduate from a medical school approved by the American Medical Association and they must pass the US Medical License Exam. If every state requires doctors to have the same basic credentials, why not let out-of-state doctors practice in Wyoming?
Cheyenne: The Supreme Court today upheld the authority of the IRS to pay subsidies on the federal insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, despite the law’s clear language that subsidies are available on exchanges “established by a state,” undermining the meaning of words and the separation of powers, Wyoming Liberty Group said today.
Progressives constantly frame the debate over healthcare reform as a false choice: should healthcare be financed through insurance companies or the government? Both options leave patients at the mercy of third parties.
Now an alternative known as Direct Primary Care promises to put the patient back in the driver’s seat. The patient pays a flat monthly fee or retainer, and in exchange, physicians provide primary care services. These services include checkups, urgent care, and chronic care management.
Ever since David King sued the federal government for illegally subsidizing health insurance payments on federal exchanges, governors in states with federal exchanges have scrambled to make contingency plans. Reactions ranged from Bobby Jindal of Louisiana consulting Congressional leaders on passing an alternative to Obamacare, to Governor Snyder of Michigan demanding his state’s legislature create a state-run insurance exchange in order to continue receiving federal insurance support. Fortunately, Congress is crafting contingency plans to offer immediate relief for millions of individuals currently receiving subsidies. These Congressional plans would grant states flexibility to determine the best insurance policies for their residents. This is an opportunity for Wyoming to make substantial health insurance reforms that lower premiums and expand coverage.
You are likely to hear two arguments — myths, really — favored by Medicaid expansion advocates. The first is that Medicaid expansion will save our Wyoming hospitals; the second is that all enrollees will have their health needs met.
As for our hospitals, is true that the discounted “100% reimbursement” promised by the federal government for an estimated 17,600 new able-bodied enrollees (but not for current enrollees), combined with an expected surge in usage, particularly of emergency facilities, would bring an infusion of cash. But such reimbursements, even adding the tempting new Medicaid enrollee federal version, are not sufficient to sustain our hospitals over time.