Who is at the other end of the stethoscope? Sure, it may be your doctor who is listening intently. But who is making the decisions about your care? Is it you and your doctor, or do insurance functionaries have the real say? Anything that comes between the doctor and the patient is bad for health care.

That’s precisely what the Affordable Care Act, the so-called “public option” proposed by the Biden campaign, Medicare-for-All, and Medicaid expansion do—they come between doctors and patients. Each of those make health care about insurance, and not about the doctor/patient relationship.

Of course insurance has a role in our health care system. But the American people have consistently said that their biggest concern is affordability—even when they have insurance. We have seen over the last decade the astronomical rise in the price of both coverage and care, and people on both sides of the aisle attribute that increase to the Affordable Care Act. The health care law ended up being a huge boon to special interests, particularly the insurers and hospital industry.

Unlike the plans to boost insurance, President Trump’s America First Healthcare Plan provides a three-pronged framework for more choice, lower costs, and better care—all to benefit the patient. The focus of all three is on the delivery of health care, not selling more expensive insurance policies. This plan has built upon his initial plan and the more than 100 executive orders targeting health care to empower patients.

More Choice for Patients

One-size-fits-all solutions are rarely effective and certainly not for a country as large and diverse as the United States. Medical conditions are extremely personal and the delivery of services are best provided at the local level—which is why President Trump is committed to give states the flexibility to lower premiums while still protecting pre-existing conditions. The flexibility comes from the inclusion of alternative forms of coverage that serve the various communities. They provide choices for consumers, not mandates handed down by government bureaucrats. To this end, the president’s plan puts the patient in charge of decisions regarding their coverage and care by giving financial assistance to the people, not the insurers.

Lower Costs for Patients

Health care today does not function according to free-market forces. Without transparent, up-front pricing, free market forces are nullified. Consumers can’t shop for better rates. The president’s plan will ensure patients have access to real prices, also known as the negotiated rates, before they go to a hospital or facility. This transformative policy—in addition to his other commitments—will end surprise billing and significantly cut waste, fraud, and abuse.

Much of the bloat in our health care system comes from the excess of middlemen—the bureaucrats, the pharmacy benefits managers, etc.—who add to the price of care without returning real value. The more we mitigate their involvement, the more affordable the delivery of care will be, particularly that of prescription drugs.

Better Care for Patients

Health care is ultimately about the relationship between doctor and patient. The president has committed to improving access for all Americans by introducing arrangements like direct primary care that focus on true health care. He’s also encouraging innovations in medical research, the development of new treatments and medications, and bringing much of the sourcing of materials back to the United States. Those are all better for patient care, and reaffirm our standing in as the world leader in medical expertise.

Health care doesn’t have to be the way it was before the ACA—it can be better. A new vision requires a change in thinking. All the pieces are there. The only thing lacking is the political will of Congress to work on behalf of patients and make health care affordable.

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