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NFIB's 10 Principles of Healthcare Reform

Date: March 06, 2014

Our current system of health insurance and healthcare is financially unsustainable and threatens the health and financial security of the American people. Small business owners and their employees are especially vulnerable to the weaknesses of our current system. NFIB supports policy reforms to balance the competing goals of access to quality care, affordability, predictability and consumer choice. The resulting healthcare system would be:

Universal:
All Americans should have access to quality care and protection against catastrophic costs. A government safety net should enable the neediest to obtain coverage. This does not mean a government-run, single-payer system.

Private:
To the greatest extent possible, Americans should receive their health insurance and healthcare through the private sector. Care must be taken to minimize the extent to which governmental safety nets crowd out private insurance and care.

Affordable:
Healthcare costs to individuals, providers, governments and businesses must be reasonable, predictable and controllable.

Unbiased:
Healthcare and tax laws should not push Americans into employer-provided or government-provided insurance programs and hobble the market for individually purchased policies. Small employers should be treated the same as large employers, who can already pool across state lines. A healthcare system built on employer mandates or on play-or-pay taxes is unacceptable.

Competitive:
Consumers should have many choices among insurers and providers. Policymakers must alleviate the limitations that state boundaries and treatment mandates place on competitiveness.

Portable:
Americans should be able to move throughout the United States and change jobs without losing their health insurance.

Transparent:
Information technology should enable all parties to access accurate, user-friendly information on costs, quality and outcomes. Providers must be able to obtain relatively complete medical histories of patients. At the same time, patients' privacy must be guarded zealously. The private sector must play a vital role in developing the new technologies.

Efficient:
Healthcare policy should encourage an appropriate level of spending on health care. Laws, regulations and insurance arrangements should direct health care spending to those goods and services that will maximize health. Adequate risk pools throughout the healthcare system are vital to accomplishing these goals.

Evidence-based:
The healthcare system must encourage consumers and providers to accumulate evidence and to use that evidence to improve health. Appropriate treatment choices and better wellness and preventive care should be key outcomes.

Realistic:
Healthcare reform should proceed as rapidly as possible, but not so quickly that firms and individuals cannot adjust prudently.

To learn more about NFIB's efforts to improve access to quality, affordable healthcare, visit www.NFIB.com/healthcare.

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