Alex Azar wants to put the consumer in charge of their healthcare

Big media is so focused on Stormy Daniels, there must have been no bigger announcements in DC than Trump’s bedroom revelations. The national media is supposed to report on issues that affect the American people. Therefore, I can only assume healthcare must be superfluous to Americans, right?

Don’t be embarrassed if you are as shocked as I was to find out that President Trump’s choice for Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is already working on a solution to rising healthcare costs. As detailed here, I have a firm belief that Azar is the man to bring costs down. He has worked in the department before and he knows the ins and outs of the medical field.

Early in March, Azar gave a brief idea of how he plans to turn the tide. Brace yourself: There wasn’t any blowback from the plan. No Democratic pundits were screaming, ‘It’ll never work!” with a vein bursting from their foreheads.

His big announcement received minimal coverage. (Kind of like what your insurance offers you. Too soon?) Azar had a simple message: to fix healthcare we need a fundamental change. A change where the emphasis is on you. I know, it’s a crazy idea, but it just might work.

Can I have it my way? In healthcare?

Yes, you! What a novel concept. The idea that you should be in charge of your decisions? Well, I never!

During this speech, Secretary Azar announced that a fundamental shift must take place to change healthcare costs. It’s not about repeal and replace or getting the government involved — it’s about turning healthcare into a consumer-based economy.

“But it’s not a consumer good, it’s a right!” they scream.

When hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and insurance companies reap record profits year in and year out, guess what? It is a business to them. However, it is the only business where the consumer doesn’t know the cost of the purchase or what they need. That is insanity.

Azar proposed a very simple solution. It’s time for people to know the costs of the procedures. If one place can do it cheaper, you should know that.

How will he accomplish that? Azar said he will ask nicely just this one time, then: If that doesn’t happen, we have plenty of levers to pull that would help drive this change.”

Woof. That is a not so veiled threat. That is the power that a secretary of a United States department should wield. That is why we got Azar. He wasn’t close to finished.

Healthcare is about you, the patient

In that same speech, Azar tried to explain the fundamental concept of you as an important part in the process. It is not just about knowing the costs of procedures and visits. Including you in the process means giving you medical information to keep with you.

Since the Affordable Care Act went into law, providers have worked to transfer all medical records into an electronic format. That is great. It is excellent for the future and for technology. But, it isn’t great for you.

That is because it is near impossible to get a tangible hold of those records for yourself. Imagine, not knowing how hungry you were when you went to eat at a restaurant? Just kind of gauging it by the time of day? You couldn’t pick a restaurant or dish at all. (It’s a stretch, but the same principle.)

Azar said it best. You should have access to your records. There are a number of reasons, but the most important is: It is your information. Your gateway to understanding yourself and your needs.

So how does he propose it? For years, Alex Azar has thought about this. But the technology was never there. There was never a handheld device capable of holding information at your fingertips. There is now.

You must have seen this coming: Healthcare apps. The same system that is used for all your other personal information would be an excellent help in this field. (Don’t scoff, you use your smartphone for your bank account.)

With information literally in your hand, it could revolutionize how you approach medicine. In doing so, it will revolutionize how healthcare is done in America.

This idea isn’t novel, giving the consumer power. In everyday economics, consumers decide the best products and services. The best companies set the best deals and the worst falter.

Time and again we hear that ‘healthcare is a right!’ It is a nice slogan that must feel good to say out loud.

Unfortunately, it is not a right. Healthcare is a mutated service that has ripped profits out of our wallets like the oil and rail tycoons of the Gilded Age.

It is time to turn the tide. Give the power to consumers. Trump’s man Alex Azar is prepared to make healthcare beg for us, not the other way around.

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Article last modified on July 19, 2018. Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Surprise! Trump’s Health Care Czar Has a Solution - AMP.

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Article last modified on July 19, 2018. Published by, LLC .