Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Getting Rid Of ObamaCare The Common Sense Way
ObamaCare has been a fiscal disaster as well as a healthcare disaster. The lies and misrepresentations of the Obama Administration and the Democrats to shove it through are common knowledge by now, and so is failure of most of the health exchanges. Most of the people who signed up for ObamaCare were people on MedicAid who were getting health care at no cost anyway, while many people who had functional plans saw their premiums skyrocket, their coverage diminished and their co-pays increase to the point where their coverage was essentially meaningless, especially at the Bronze level. Many workers, especially in small businesses actually saw their hours cut below full time simply because complying with ObamaCare and it's arcane rules and requirements was too expensive and/or too time consuming. Many doctors in private practice refused to accept it for the same reasons. A fair amount of ObamaCare's victims simply chose to pay the mandated penalty instead of the high premiums and hope they never got sick.
ObamaCare was simply one of the worst scams ever foisted on the American people, and even many of its original proponents now admit that the flimflam about it being a money saver and deficit reducer were 'overstated.'
Repealing ObamaCare was a campaign promise of President Trump's as well as many Republicans now in Congress. Yet it's been delayed.
The reasons are pretty obvious. First of all, there are a couple of provisions many people like, especially if they work in government, which had the staff and other people's money to tailor their plans so that there was compliance with only a modest increase in co-pays and premiums, most of which ere partially paid for by their employer, or rather, the taxpayers. Particularly popular were the provisions allowing people to keep their children on their plans until age 26 and not allowing insurers to deny people with pre-existing conditions.
Second, insurance is a business based on future projections. Rates are figured on the basis of risk and probable future cost in advance, and a change now would create chaos in the industry. There's also the factor that a lot of the people on ObamaCare who aren't paying anything for coverage anyway like the status quo. And they vote.
That's why you're seeing the dithering going on in congress over getting rid of this costly travesty. A lot of republicans are now talking about 'fixing ' ObamaCare rather than repeal, or not doing anything until a legitimate replacement is created.
Both ideas are seriously flawed. Here's why, and how to get rid of ObamaCare in a commonsense way.
Obamacare was poorly designed and badly constructed from the very beginning. Trying to repair it would be like prettying up a house with shoddy basic construction and materials, a lousy foundation and a bad interior design. Not only that, but right now, ObamaCare is a colossal failure owned by President Obama and the Democrat party. Tinkering with it would allow them to saddle the Trump Administration and the Republican congress with that failure...'it was working fine until you fiddled with it.'
The other idea, of doing nothing until a replacement is constructed is going to take a great deal of time. Meanwhile, the American people are getting justifiably restless, especially since they remember how the Republicans in Congress did nothing about this for 8 years. In the meantime,not only is ObamaCare hemorrhaging money, but because of its tax provisions, not repealing ObamaCare delaying the tax cuts and tax reform badly needed to get the economy rolling again.
There's actually a fairly easy solution to this problem.
President Trump, together with Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should immediately announce the repeal of ObamaCare, especially the individual mandate penalty and name a date in the near future when it will no longer be in effect. This would have a number of benefits.
It would allow insurance companies and health providers lead in time to figure cost and actuarial projections for the coming year and tool up, especially if they were given advance notice of the basics of the new plan. They didn't get that when ObamaCare was unloaded on them, and it cost millions...which of course was transferred to the insured in the form of higher premiums.
It would reassure the American people that congress wasn't going to drop the ball again. a mention in the announcement that the new plan would include an assigned risk provision for pre-existing conditions and retain the provision allowing parents to keep children under 26 on their plans would also be helpful.
It would provide congress and staff members constructing the new plan with that essential prod known as a deadline. With President Trump pushing them along, I can almost guarantee it would be finished on time.
The plan itself? If we're going to have universal health care, I recommend President Trump and his advisors look at the way Israel does this, since it's one of the few government mandated healthcare programs that actually works.
In Israel, health insurance is mandatory and there are five healthcare insurance providers who compete with each other for clients, which effects the size of their government subsidies. Not all five are available in every part of the country, but you are usually sure of having at least three to choose from. In addition, every insurance program is boutique, meaning you only pay for what your particular needs require...a retired couple in their sixties, for instance, would probably not be paying for maternity care or a pediatric care. And since healthcare insurance is mandatory, the issues of pre-existing conditions and adult children being retained on their parents plan don't really exist.
One reason this works so well in Israel is that the litigious climate here in America doesn't really exist there yet. The ratio of doctors and medical personnel to lawyers is the opposite of what we have here in the U.S. which also has the effect of keeping medical care affordable. Israel also doesn't have the illegal migration problem America does. As a result,Israel does quite a nice business in medical tourism, with Europeans fed up with the long wait to have procedures performed flying to Israel to take advantage of the state of the art care at lower prices and the reduced wait time.
I'd recommend that any new national health plan America adopts include these factors...competition between providers, boutique plan and serious tort reform to keep the lawyers at arms length. And perhaps some government provisions to cut down on waste and abuse. Addressing the high cost of medical education so we can produce more doctors and medical personnel wouldn't be a bad idea either.