The Donald Trump administration finalized a rule Thursday that requires that health insurers and self-insured plans disclose pricing and cost-sharing information.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor, and the Department of Treasury unveiled the finalized rule that would allow more than 200 million Americans with private health insurance to have access to “real-time” price information. This would allow consumers to have better information about healthcare costs before receiving treatment. It would also allow patients to shop between different healthcare providers for the best value service.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described the healthcare rule as the “most far-reaching price transparency reform in the history of American healthcare.”
She added, “Coupled with this Administration’s previous action on hospital price transparency, today’s rule on insurer price transparency follows through on that commitment to give patients unprecedented visibility into their care and how much it costs.”
Allowing patients to choose their healthcare services with more transparency would help patients save significant money. Economists Steve Forbes, Arthur Laffer, and Larry Van Horn wrote in an op-ed in July that Trump’s reform could help families save up to $11,000 per family each year. The economists also noted that Singapore has system-wide healthcare price transparency, and it spends 75 percent less than the United States.
“Hospitals and clinics there compete for consumers’ business based on price and quality. That’s how a market is supposed to work,” Forbes, Laffer, and Van Horn added.
Trump’s healthcare rule serves as part of his “America First Health Care Plan,” which emphasizes “choice” and “control” over health care. The rule’s finalization follows as the Trump administration has managed to lower Obamacare premiums for the third year in a row.
Brian Blase, a healthcare policy expert and former special assistant for the Trump White House, said in a statement on Thursday that the healthcare rule will help save patients and businesses money with increased transparency. He explained:
Today’s rule shows how the Trump administration continues to take on special interests to help American patients and employers save money on health care. Big health insurance companies have profited from keeping us in the dark about how they use our money. With today’s rule, patients and employers will be able to assess the value of their insurer, better compare prices across providers, and institute payment structures that promote value-based purchasing. More knowledgeable shoppers will result in competitive pressure on both insurers and medical professionals to do better, which will save families money and enable businesses to hire more workers.
Members of the Trump administration said that they continue to work to lower healthcare costs with Trump’s healthcare rule.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said, “President Trump’s actions to require full transparency on prices throughout our healthcare system may be the single most pro-patient, pro-consumer reform American healthcare has ever seen.”
He added, “With more than 70 percent of the most costly healthcare services being shoppable, Americans will have vastly more control over their care, delivering on the President’s vision of better care, lower costs, and more choice.”
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement on Thursday, “President Trump is solving longstanding problems in our healthcare system; hidden healthcare prices have produced a dysfunctional system that serves special interests but leaves patients out in the cold.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.