Trump Health Care Agenda Might Not Work. Here’s Why
The Trump health care agenda has been revealed but a lot of critics say while its aim is noble, the new plan could backfire.
Pres. Donald Trump bares his health care plan recently and he wants to underscore one thing: transparency. According to NPR, Trump wants insurers and hospitals to reveal the costs of their services. And by costs, it means the real and updates prices and it must be made available online.
In theory, by revealing the prices, patients will not be blindsided by high costs of services or medications. They will also have the freedom to choose alternative hospitals or insurance providers if they think the price is too high. Also, by revealing the prices, hospitals can make their offers more competitive compared to other health institutions. For insurers, they must reveal how much the patient must shoulder in terms of medical fees or services. However, while the overall objective is noble, the plan could also go wrong on many levels.
Administration supporters think the proposed new guidelines are game-changers in the industry. The patients are, after all, the ones who will benefit in the end. Trump believes American patients are being ripped off for a long time now and it has got to stop. The hospitals, on the other hand, think otherwise.
If a hospital offers a lower rate compared to another hospital, it will increase its prices to level with the competition in the industry. Aside from these, violators or those who will not release the prices will get $300 per day as fine. This is considered a small change for hospitals. If the administration fully wants to implement the new guidelines, it must enforce higher sanction fees for violators.
In a separate report from NPR, the challenge is simply too great to see the positive outcome right away. In terms of data that are going to be made available, the public could get overwhelmed by the details and number of options. Each medicine or tablet's price will be released, as well as room rates, tests and procedures. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies have different deals with hospitals so prices are expected to vary from one place to another. Quality of healthcare services must also be considered. Lower price does not automatically mean better services, it just means it is more affordable.
America's Health Insurance Plans predicts the plans will soon backfire. Instead of lowering prices just as what the administration hoped, there will be a common price point where hospitals are willing to accept. If a standard or regular price is set, any amount that is lower than that will be rejected by hospitals.
Per NBC News, insurers have raised a red flag that prices might go higher than expected. Telling patients what amount they will be shouldering before receiving some services and not after is a refreshing approach. On the other hand, people who do not have the money to pay for it would rather skip seeing the doctors, miss appointments or delay medications.
If it gets cleared and approved, the changes will take effect on January 2021. Until then, supporters and critics of the changes have enough time to provide more insights in their claims.
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