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Coalition Letter Against Government Rate-Setting in Healthcare

03/27/2019

On Wednesday, FreedomWorks sent a coalition letter to members of Congress signed by representatives from 17 organizations against government rate-setting in healthcare. Government rate-setting in healthcare will only lead to premium increases, higher out-of-pocket costs, and decreased consumer choice. Signers to the letter include Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, Tom Schatz of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, David Williams of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and Jeff Mazzella of the Center for Individual Freedom. The text of the letter is below and a PDF of the letter and the signers can be found here.

Dear Member of Congress,

We write to express our concerns about various bills proposing the expansion of government in the healthcare system through government-set rates. Giving government the power to forcefully set reimbursement rates for healthcare services administered to the privately insured is a step in the wrong direction for our country and will do more harm than good.

More and more, 2020 presidential hopefuls and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are proposing even more government interference in the private healthcare market as the solution to curb the cost of care. Whether it’s Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All approach, Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-Calif.) push for the full elimination of private health insurance, or Sen. Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) proposed legislation to solve the surprise billing problem with government-set rates, at the heart of each proposal is government price controls for the private market. Anyone who is interested in ensuring that Americans have access to affordable, quality healthcare should oppose these proposals.

Placing government in the middle of payment negotiations between the healthcare providers and the insurance companies did not work to curb healthcare costs on the Obamacare exchange and Americans are suffering the consequences – increased premiums and deductibles, surprise medical bills from narrow insurance networks, decreased patient choice, and limited access to care.

We cannot continue to subject Americans to this same problem. Government forcing this approach in the private market will further distort free-market economics and do little to protect Americans from rising healthcare costs or the limited coverage networks driving the increase in surprise medical bills. We need market-based solutions that foster competition and empower individuals to keep healthcare where it belongs – between patients and their doctors.

The key to healthcare freedom and a reformed system is encouraging competition and increasing consumer choice. Americans need improved access to affordable care, a growing supply of healthcare providers and innovation that can achieve long-term quality improvements and cost reductions. Setting government price controls for reimbursement rates in the private market does nothing to achieve these goals.

As a lawmaker, we urge you to avoid proposed solutions that force you to choose between protecting patients with government-set rates and a healthcare system inclusive of limited government interference in privatized care, consumers empowered to make their own healthcare decisions, as well as competition-driven cost containment. We urge you to oppose any bills that would set America on the path towards a single-payer system with government rate-setting.