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Partners in Freedom: The Goodman Institute Shows How to Fix Health Care without More Taxes, Mandates

If there is a way to fix the nation’s broken health care system without raising taxes or mandating coverage, chances are The Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research and its founder, John C. Goodman, have figured it out.

The Wall Street Journal calls Goodman “the father of health savings accounts (HSAs),” and Modern Healthcare says Goodman is one of four people who have most influenced the health care system.

Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Goodman and his colleagues, 25 million people are managing some of their own health care dollars in HSA accounts they own and control. Perhaps an equal number have access to a similar account, called a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA).

Many of the most important innovations in the health care marketplace such as walk-in clinics and mail-order pharmacies emerged in response to patients spending money out of pocket, rather than relying on a third-party to pay the bill.

Righting Obamacare

In 2016, Goodman Institute scholars helped produce a comprehensive bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), then the House Rules Committee chairman, and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R–LA), who Goodman calls the most knowledgeable person on health policy in the Senate. The bill was based on 12 bold ideas and promised to produce universal coverage without mandates and without additional taxes and spending.

The Trump administration has wholly or partially enacted six of the 12 bold ideas through executive orders. One of the most important changes is allowing employers to help their employees obtain individually owned health insurance—which they can take with them from job to job and in and out of the labor market. Another important change will make it easier for seniors to obtain inexpensive concierge care.

Goodman recently teamed with Marie Fishpaw of the Heritage Foundation to advocate five major health care reforms. Their white paper lists a bill of rights of sorts that health care policy must include (see related article) if it is going to be more responsive to consumers.

Goodman and Fishpaw noted these are health policy goals the Trump administration has already been pursuing. They are also core ideas endorsed by the House Republican Study Committee, by the Job Creators Network, and by many other think tanks.

Goodman Institute scholar Thomas Saving is a former trustee of Social Security and Medicare. Saving and his colleagues have produced the only study ever done on how to privatize Medicare—without loss of benefits or higher taxes.

In an article in Health Affairs, Goodman and Saving advocated liberating seniors from Medicare price fixing by allowing them to have health saving accounts and allowing physician services and fees to be determined in the marketplace.

AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.


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