I believe the high cost of healthcare to be one of the most critical issues concerning legislation and policy of the current healthcare environment. For various reasons, healthcare is extremely regulated, and those regulations are closely connected to markets (Kee, 2019). Due to the influence of regulatory structure, certain conflicts with financial incentives arise in healthcare markets (Lee, 2019). While under the right conditions, buyers and sellers are supposed to know all relevant information about the market, one should remember that many people are ignorant about their healthcare choices (Lee, 2019). Such ignorance can result in an incapacity to identify the correct price for the required care (Lee, 2019). Moreover, providers may promote certain treatment, even if it is ineffective or harmful but is more profitable (Lee, 2019). With that being said, legislation and policy may even support such providers. For instance, licensure often protects regulated groups’ economic interests rather than the interests and health of people (Lee, 2019). While policy and legislation in healthcare are meant to be oriented toward consumer protection, certain regulations can affect markets and create an environment that promotes high and unreasonable costs.
Specific obstacles need to be overcome in relation to the high cost of healthcare. First, since the public’s ignorance of healthcare can facilitate excessive pricing, people have to understand the significance of investing time to educate themselves on certain health-related questions (Lee, 2019). Second, a major obstacle is related to the fact that, while regulations signal to consumers the quality of a provider, the provider may exploit people’s trust for their own purposes (Lee, 2019). Third, legislation and policy are often oriented toward centralized decision-making, but each patient has unique needs, which may be overlooked if legislation causes a conflict between the financial interests of providers and people (Lee, 2019). Overall, the obstacles related to the issue of the high cost of healthcare include people’s unfamiliarity with treatment and the intents of providers protected by laws.
Lee, R. (2019). Economics for healthcare managers. Health Administration Press.