Recommendations for Trump's second-term health care agenda

By Brian Blase and Lanhee Chen
The Washington Times, July 22, 2020

President Trump has an opportunity to offer a second-term agenda that builds on his administration’s successes to expand families’ control over Illustration on President Trump’s health care agenda by Linas Garsys/The Washington Timestheir health care. Given the importance that Americans place on health care issues for their vote, Mr. Trump probably can’t win reelection without doing so, Blase and Chen write.

They recommend working with Congress to codify administration actions to expand options like Association Health Plans, short-term plans, and health reimbursement arrangements and then list five priorities that build on the 120-page Choice and Competition report the administration issued 20 months ago:
  • Ensure every American has a health savings account, giving them the freedom to better control their health care spending and seek value and pressure providers to lower prices and improve quality. 
  • Tackle high costs by confronting the growing consolidation among hospitals and providers that has driven up prices, by directing the administration to battle anticompetitive mergers and growing consolidation.
  • Ensure Americans have access to telehealth and other emerging technologies, and work with states to eliminate rules that prevent doctors and nurses from moving to where they are most needed and from practicing at the top of their licenses.
  • Address Obamacare’s failings that hurt middle-income families who are forced to pay skyrocketing premiums and deductibles, often without the benefit of subsidies. Real reform would return significant regulatory flexibility to states. With this control and with reformed subsidies, states can take the lead on making coverage more affordable, while targeting financial assistance to those who need it.
  • Finally, Mr. Trump should reform Medicare and Medicaid that are on unsustainable fiscal trajectories, often wasting taxpayer dollars and delivering inferior care.
Mr. Trump has an opportunity to lay out a second-term agenda that will build on his initial successes and further expand choice, transparency and competition to help Americans obtain better health care at lower cost. A clear vision will show voters that this year’s election represents a true choice between two very disparate views of the future: One where government rules and middlemen limit our choices and access to care, or one where patients and their doctors are in control.
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