Montana’s Healthcare Reforms Set National Example

Montana’s Healthcare Reforms Set National Example

As one healthcare expert recently put it, “Other states should now look to Montana for guidance on how to get health policy right.”

In today’s discourse it is all too common to hear people say “the government needs to do more in healthcare” – as if adding more government bureaucracy will solve all of our problems.

Luckily for us, Montana has taken a different approach. Instead of doubling down on failed policies that rely on a ‘government cures all’ philosophy, Montana leaders have instead opted to remove the government barriers to affordable healthcare and unleash the power of the free market.

As one healthcare expert recently put it, “Other states should now look to Montana for guidance on how to get health policy right.”

Expanding upon the successful healthcare reforms of the 2021 session, many of which were championed by the Frontier Institute, the 2023 session expanded access to affordable, quality healthcare. How did they do it?

Reducing Licensure Red Tape
While often implemented with safety in mind, overly strict licensure requirements can have serious consequences, limiting the potential pool of quality healthcare professionals and hamstringing healthcare professionals by not allowing them to practice to the full extent of their training.

Reforms like HB 101, SB 214 and HB 777 help to expand the pool of providers by reducing the red tape healthcare professionals, who are already licensed in other states, face when expanding their practice to Montana.

Other reforms like SB 101, HB 313 and SB 112 expands the ability of current providers in Montana to care for their patients by ensuring they can practice to the full extent of their training.

Expanding Access To Free Market Options
After Montana passed the nation’s most expansive authorization of Direct Patient Care (DPC) authorization in 2021, the 2023 Legislature delivered further reforms by increasing access to this Free Market healthcare model.

SB 550 expands access to this healthcare model by allowing Montanans to use tax advantaged Montana Medical Savings Accounts to pay for low cost Direct Patient Care (DPC) memberships for comprehensive healthcare access.

Next Steps
While each one of these reforms represents an important milestone towards increasing Montanans access to quality, affordable healthcare, we shouldn’t stop here. Montana leaders should look to options such as Universal Licensure, to expand access to care and reduce costs.

Just like in the medical field, the approach to solving problems should always begin with “first, do no harm.” It’s time we finally remove all the government barriers causing harm by preventing quality, affordable healthcare in Montana.

For Liberty,
Tanner Avery

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