Public health has leaped to the top of the list of issues voters are most concerned with following the outbreak of COVID-19. And government spending on medical care continues its long-standing rapid rise. Health care policy will, then, remain a significant issue for Michigan’s patients, medical practitioners and taxpayers.
With this in mind, the Mackinac Center is assembling a council of health care professionals to advise and contribute to our work of educating the public and policymakers about sound policy. These experts will help us gain expertise on health care issues, so that we can better understand the impact of existing policies and the possibilities of potential reforms.
The council will consist of medical practitioners, such as doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, technicians and therapists. These professionals feel the result of policies at the ground level. Their perspective, expertise and opinions are critical to improving policy health care policy. Their voices are not heard enough and are often drowned out by large, organized interests, such as unions, professional associations and hospital executives.
The council and the Center will have a symbiotic affiliation. The council will contribute to our mission and boost our influence by writing and reviewing articles and studies, giving presentations at public events and advising our team. In turn, we will help broadcast their voice on important issues by arranging for them media interviews, op-ed placements and legislative testimony.
While the expertise they bring to the table will vary, members of the council will be united in supporting the Mackinac Center’s free-market perspective. The council will aim to promote market-based reforms to make taxpayer spending on health care more effective and improve public health. The council’s perspective will help us identify regulations that need trimming, anticompetitive measures that need rescinding, programs that need reforming and costs that need reducing.
The Center has experience working with groups such as this council. Our Board of Scholars consists of economists, policy experts and business leaders, and it includes more than 30 professors at Michigan colleges, including Hillsdale, Northwood, U-M, CMU and WMU. For decades, its input on policy issues has proved valuable time and again, and we expect the same of our new council.
Improving health care policies in Michigan is no easy task, as some powerful interests defend the status quo and others push for costly changes that would make health care even worse. The Mackinac Center hopes to inject a strong voice for market-based reforms, and our new council of health care professionals will play an important role.