by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
Here’s a great Politico article on how Obamacare opponents need to step up their repeal and replace game. In the words of Bob Graboyes, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center:
In a word, the solution to America’s health care woes is innovation — the cost-cutting innovation we’ve seen in almost every other industry. Genomics, 3-D printing, nanobots, wearable sensors, social media, telecommunications, imaging, artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art data mining and other new technologies are poised to deliver health and healing and lifesaving in ways that were inconceivable just a few years ago. The ACA will impede innovation by, among other things, homogenizing the delivery of care and funneling resources toward well-entrenched providers. But the same is true of a maze of state and federal laws, regulations, institutions and customs that long predate the ACA.
At the state level, certificate-of-need laws protect old hospitals from newer, better challengers. Licensing laws protect providers from out-of-state competitors. Scope-of-practice laws protect doctors from nurse practitioners and others who can safely perform many tasks. Corporate practice of medicine doctrine protects obsolete institutions from more effective management structures.
Yet the ACA’s fiercest opponents often tolerate or even support these obstructions. To seize the offensive, ACA opponents will have to define a new vision, based on innovation. To do so, they will have to cross swords with hospitals, physician groups, academicians, attorneys, medical schools, state governments, federal agencies and more. If they are not willing, medicine’s ability to reduce suffering and contain costs will be far below its potential. If they are willing, they might find some unconventional allies in surprising places.