“The goal of health care reform is to provide better health care to everyone at a lower cost, year after year. The solution is not to provide a better third-party-payer system — e.g., health insurance or government-provided health insurance — but instead to allow technological development and entrepreneurship to improve the current business model through groundbreaking innovations that empower consumers, improve quality and cut prices. We have seen it happen in many industries, such as transportation, room and board, and tech.
Of course, special interests benefiting from the old model do not appreciate being challenged. As a result, rather than make it easier for new models to thrive by ensuring that rules and regulations do not stifle innovation, politicians often choose to protect established industry players at the expense of consumers.”
“Some services strive to do something even more impactful by making health care more affordable and accessible, yet they are held back by outdated rules and hostile competing industries. Take, for example, telemedicine — the use of modern communications technology, such as videoconferencing and using smartphones, to facilitate patient care. It has the potential to help millions of Americans struggling to pay the skyrocketing costs of health care. But instead, some politicians are siding with their campaign contributors in the health care industry and not the constituents they supposedly are in office to serve.”
“The California State Board of Optometry used taxpayer dollars to engage in a public relations campaign against one telemedicine startup. Indiana enacted a law last year to prevent the use of online eye exams. Georgia and South Carolina have also enacted bans, and the Virginia Legislature just sent a bill to the governor's desk that would do the same.
All of this is done not to safeguard patients but to protect older and more expensive business models. This is highly unfortunate. Telemedicine not only can help reduce health care costs but also has the potential to greatly expand access to care — something politicians claim to care about. Yet many states nevertheless prevent doctors licensed in other states from offering telemedicine services to their residents. This makes it more difficult for poorer citizens living in medically underserved areas to achieve the same access to care that their wealthier neighbors can discover by traveling out of state.” - Cronyism Thwarts Telemedicine and Other Innovations, mercatus.org, 02/23/2017
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