The state of Wyoming is mulling the possibility of funneling air ambulance services through Medicaid, terming it an essential service. If the state is successful in bringing this about, it will be a huge relief to the middle income population of the United States. It seems like an intelligent way to get around the Airline Deregulation act that has been the major hindrance to regulate the medical flight industry so far. The ball has now been pushed to the court of the Federal government, which is expected to pass this proposal soon. However, taking a look at the past efforts in regulating the medical flight industry, one cannot be too optimistic about the move.
A Model for the Nation but a Breakdown of Free Market?
The United States, as a nation, has since a long time tried to steer away from forces that work against the principles of free market. However, with the changing times, the country seems to be veering towards socialistic tenets. There is no doubt that the move is the need of the hour as people have seen medical flight bills going up to USD 100 thousand at times, pushing patients towards bankruptcy. If the state is successful in its endeavor, it will not be long before the rest of the states follow the example.
Free Market but Sensible
The push towards free market has always been from the perspective of benefiting people. However, excessive players in the air ambulance industry and attempts to push the cost responsibility towards the end consumers are not going well with most. On the bright side, there are several companies that are doing their part to not burden the end consumers by voluntarily widening their insurance networks. All said and done, the industry’s eyes are currently on the state of Wyoming; which way the tide will turn, only time will tell.