Want health care reform? Look to the states.
By the Goldwater Institute
For seven years, leaders in Washington have promised to repeal Obamacare, but as we saw this week, Congress doesn't seem any closer to real health care reform. The good news is that there’s an opportunity for action in our 50 states.
Take the dental care crisis, for example. Did you know that 18 percent of lower-income Americans say that they or someone in their household has turned to an emergency room for dental pain treatment? And in Arizona alone, 2.4 million of the state's 7 million residents are living in areas with a serious shortage of dentists. That leads to higher costs and poorer health.
But we don't have to rely on Washington to solve this problem.
States can increase access to dental care and reduce costs by licensing dental therapists who carry out routine dental procedures. And it's a solution that has bipartisan support, as The Huffington Post reported this week:
While most media attention has been focused on the lack of consensus on health care in Washington, several conservative organizations and think tanks, like the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, have joined state-based coalitions now spanning the political spectrum that advocate for a free market approach to addressing the oral health crisis.
The dental establishment has actively resisted this reform and usually cites unfounded concerns over patient safety, even though the safety and quality track record for dental therapists is long and well-documented.
Limiting the supply of providers not only increases the cost of care services; it forces Americans to pay higher prices. To increase dental access and affordability, states can and should allow for dental therapists.
It's a solution that doesn't have to go through Congress. And it's one example of how states can help reform health care while Washington just keeps talking.
Goldwater in the News this Week
- Politically influenced city courts are raking in fines, while individual liberties are being trampled. That was the finding of a new report this week by the Goldwater Institute's Mark Flatten titled City Court: Money, Pressure and Politics Make It Tough to Beat the Rap.
- The Goldwater Institute filed a petition this week asking the U.S. Supreme Court to provide equal rights to Native American children. Sadly, the federal Indian Child Welfare Act doesn't just make it harder to protect at-risk kids, but even overrides the decisions of Native American parents themselves.
- In America, free speech increasingly is not free. That’s particularly true as states pass laws to limit the ability of nonprofit organizations to advocate for issues Americans care about. A new Goldwater Institute paper makes the case for First Amendment protections for nonprofits.
On Tuesday, July 25th at 10:30am EST, Tim Sandefur, Goldwater Institute's Vice President for Litigation and co-author of Goldwater's robust campus free speech reform package, will speak on a panel about free speech zones hosted by the Heritage Foundation. To learn more about the event or to register to watch it live online, please click here