By TCCRI Staff. August 30, 2022
Earlier this month, the House Select Committee on Health Care Reform held its first meeting, delving into some of the health care system’s most complex issues in a marathon two-day hearing. Legislators covered topics spanning both the public and private sectors, hearing from various experts on issues ranging from the intricacies of prescription drug costs to the impact of federal pandemic declarations on Medicaid caseloads (a topic the TCCRI TxHealthcare Project is currently researching and will report on in the near future).
One particular area of the committee’s focus, which the TCCRI Health and Human Services Task Force also discussed at its last meeting, was the rising cost of health coverage and its impact on Texans. Two of the speakers at our last Task Force Meeting presented to the Select Committee, noting that in some areas of the state, hospitals charge three times more than Medicare, and double the deemed “break even” rate, contributing to both rising premium costs for Texas employers and rising out of pocket costs for Texas families.
Several other important topics were also discussed, including the use and regulations of pharmacy benefit managers, considerations around any-willing-provider laws, the impact of government mandates, and the need for greater transparency and consumer empowerment. TCCRI submitted written testimony to the Select Committee outlining our positions and policy positions.
And, while synthesizing comments and proposals for the breadth and depth of these critical issues is challenging, all our recommendations can be categorized within the guiding principles of the TX Healthcare Project: Accessibility, Affordability, and Accountability.
- Accessible care through licensure reform
- Affordable care and coverage through less government intrusion.
- Accountable systems and consumers through greater transparency
Though the issues facing today’s healthcare system are complex and there is no simple fix, at the end of the day any solutions must embrace these tenets. By staying focused on these guidelines, we can ensure that free market principles are in place to encourage greater competition, lowering costs and raising quality standards.