Free to Prosper: Medical Technology and Health Care

View the full chapter on medical technology and health care here

American consumers benefit from a bounty of choice, competition, and innovation in health care. Nevertheless, America’s health care system is plagued by rapidly rising costs, inconsistent quality, and a lack of patient control. Moreover, persistent access and affordability limitations have led policy makers to adopt a series of funding and regulatory measures during the past six decades that have substantially increased government involvement in the health care sector. Ironically, that has exacerbated cost inflation, restricted choice and competition, dampened innovation, and shifted increasingly greater control over health care choices into the hands of governments and health insurers. Yet many advocates and policy makers continue to demand even greater government control.

The cure for America’s health care system does not lie in additional increases in government involvement, but in policies that put more control over health care spending in the hands of patients, regulatory approaches that permit and reward innovation and competition, and deregulation of the market for health services, health care technology, and health insurance. Policy makers should embrace dynamic, market-oriented reforms that leverage technology, competition, and innovation to increase health care quality while reducing costs.


Telemedicine and telehealth—the use of electronic and telecommunication tools by health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients remotely, or by patients themselves to monitor their own health and well-being—have grown in popularity in recent decades. Many health services cannot be provided remotely, but when only consultation is needed, telemedicine can improve access to health specialists located in distant parts of the country, increase convenience for patients who no longer need to travel to a health care provider’s physical office, and lower health expenditures by reducing overhead costs and increasing the number of patients a provider can serve.

In this chapter:

  • Permanently Repeal Federal Rules that Hinder or Forbid Telemedicine and Telehealth
  • Reject Price Controls for Prescription Drugs
  • Promote Real Health Care Price Transparency by Giving Patients More Incentive and Responsibility for Health Care Choices
  • Modernize the FDA’s Rules for Evaluating New Drugs by Expanding Flexibility in Adaptive Clinical Trial Designs

View the full chapter on medical technology and health care here.