Tennessee’s health policy should provide quality care


June 9, 2015 1:24PM

This op-ed originally appeared the in the Tennessean.

Insure Tennessee proponents claim that Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal will solve our state’s well-documented health crisis. But in reality, it amounts to little more than a ploy to use taxpayer money to give barely half the uninsured population — just 450,000 out of 850,000 uninsured — less-than-stellar health insurance coverage.

Instead of trying to solve our health care problems by spending someone else’s money to expand government health insurance, we should focus on two other primary contributors to the health policy equation: human ingenuity and patient access. Utilizing each will allow us to focus on expanding access to care for all Tennesseans, not providing mere coverage to some.

Let’s start with human ingenuity. We don’t need to look far to see the impact that innovation has made on our daily lives. Technology is accomplishing miraculous feats across the spectrum, with exciting developments for the medical community.

New Apps like Pager, an “Uber for doctors” urgent-care house call service, and Apple’s ResearchKit for ongoing managed care are customizing patient treatment options using individual skills and low-cost resources — and these new services are just scratching the surface.

When we think about how 3-D printing has revolutionized the medical device field, enabling the handicapped to receive mechanical hands for $40 instead of thousands, the possibilities start to seem endless. The horizon could be the limit if unnecessary government regulations didn’t stand in the way.