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Vulnerable Americans Suffer from Backward Healthcare Policies – States Can Fix It

February 2, 2024

Tens of millions of Americans are suffering from a lack of access to healthcare because government regulations are standing in the way. But in one state, vulnerable Americans are getting the help they need thanks to a simple reform that brings medicine into the 21st century.

More than one in five households in Phoenix, Ariz.—including some of the most at-risk patients—have benefitted from a new state law that opens the door for telehealth services, according to a new report from the Goldwater Institute, where I work. That law allows people to access high-quality medical care from the comfort of their own home using a computer, smartphone, or landline phone. Utilizing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, Goldwater’s new report shows that lower-income households, the aging population, racial/ethnic minorities, patients with depression, and those who reported difficulty walking were among those who saw some of the greatest benefit.

Telehealth is important because it can remove the geographic, financial, and physical barriers that are associated with in-person care—and during the COVID pandemic, many states were granted telehealth flexibilities. While some states turned those flexibilities into permanent legislation, most let them expire—leaving countless patients without the options they were counting on.

Read the rest of the op-ed at Townhall.

Amanda Hagerman is the Senior Policy & Research Analyst at the Goldwater Institute.



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