Skyrocketing health care costs are one of the greatest barriers to better health. Unfortunately, federal and state red tape and mismanagement prevent or reduce competition, driving up prices in the health care marketplace.
States can reverse this trend in a variety of ways, such as relaxing restrictions on telemedicine, giving nurse practitioners full scope of practice in areas where they are trained to act independently, and lifting certificate-of-need restrictions that prevent expansion of hospitals and medical practices.
Currently, 35 states have certificate-of-need laws that require hospitals to get government approval before expanding or creating new medical services in a community. These laws were intended to control health care costs, but because they are based on a top-down model of the economy, they have actually increased costs and decreased patient choices.
The federal government and the states need to work together to find common-sense solutions that increase competition and bring costs down for everyone.
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