Recently we have seen the Republicans roll out their own version of healthcare reforms. The new plan is not what was promised to voters. This plan does not completely repeal Obamacare. It creates a new healthcare entitlement utilizing a tax credit in place of the subsidy. (Witness the problem that is the earned income tax credit. Hardly a success for those advocating for individual self reliance and the free market) While the new proposed bill will allegedly remove the one size fits all mandates of Obamacare, it fails to allow the free market to operate and to innovate to produce lower costs.
Why can’t we simply repeal Obamacare.
Our healthcare system was not broken, when Obamacare was passed. There were areas that required tweaking to allow better access to health insurance in the individual healthcare market. There was also a risk allocation problem with preexisting conditions. Senator Rand Paul has been proposing some free market changes to assist individuals with preexisting conditions and small businesses by allowing them to secure group health insurance by forming large consumer associations. (This is a free market solution to help spread out risk. This would allow insurance companies to properly price their product to fit the group insured) These newly allowed insurance negotiating entities would consist of large groups of consumers. These associations could negotiate for their members for better premiums and provide a diverse consumer base to avoid the adverse selection problem that has plagued the individual marketplace. (Adverse selection occurs, when a large group of sick people flood the risk pool and cause a death spiral for the insurance group because the cost of benefits paid out exceeds the available premium generated from the entire group. Insurance is risk spreading. If everyone uses all they contribute, then you merely have a payment transfer intermediary not a viable insurance risk pool.)
Who says the idea of keeping children on their parents plan until the age of 26 is a good idea? Parents like the idea because it provides access to healthcare for their unemployed or underemployed children, or those, who haven’t yet found their way into the workforce at no cost to the parent. It was embraced because it was the only game in town.
People want access to inexpensive health insurance for this group of young people,who frequently has less income to buy insurance. There is however no such thing as a free lunch. The extra cost of this insurance provision is passed on to all and along with the other mandated services.
Twenty-six is a full four years after many graduate. This is pure legislative over reach. If twenty-six is good, why not forever? Will we ever require these young people to find their own way in the world? Stop being helicopter parents and let the young seek their own way. There are plenty of free market ways to cover this desirable demographic and allow for personal responsibility. Please see some free market options below.
These individuals are as a group the healthiest in our society and are a desirable consumer for their own inexpensive catastrophic insurance policy. Catastrophic insurance is inexpensive health insurance and was formerly available through Universities and other groups prior to the Obamacare services manndate. Repeal of Obamacare with its coverage mandates will allow these individuals to buy catastrophic health insurance through their colleges, trade schools and other associations, especally ,if the Rand Paul approach to purchasing group insurance is adopted.
Since this is a desirable demograhic for the health care provider, it is likely insurance riders would become available to parents for this group for a minimal premium increase. The young adult coud bear the cost of this inexpensive insurance add on. This approach promotes personal responsibility and provides inexpensive insurance coverage for this group. When joined with the ability to have health savings accounts, perhaps funded with help from their parents from birth, these solutions could provide for the young in the insurance market.
Finally, while it is widely accepted that the government is the provider of the social safety net, there remains a place in the healthcare for charitable giving. Why? Charity is the voluntary application of capital by the citizenry to help out their fellow citizen. Charity is the ultimate altruistic act of an individual within our society in as much as it is not motivated by the use of government force (whether that is the dictates of the majority or the dictates of an individual be he beneficent or tyrannical. There is a reason why we have a republic. Protection is sometime needed from the whims of the many or the one.) Charity has a place in healthcare.
Let’s not forget a legitimate use of the interstate commerce clause. It was established to prohibit states from setting up barriers to the goods of their fellow states. It should be used to curb the excessive use of the state’s safety and health authority to squeeze out health insurance competition. Many states tailor their laws to prefer some or one healthcare provider over others. Some state laws by their requirements make entry into their market economically impossible. We must allow companies with adequate reserves to sell their products across state lines. Reasonable reserve requirements will have to be closely watched to prevent out crony capitalism by state statute.
Congress must not assume health insurance is the sole reason for rising healthcare in the US. Congress must look at the FDA and reform it.
The FDA needs to be overhauled. While Democrats hail the FDA, as our savior, which keeps us safe. It is also a political organization, which limits individual’s choice of treatments and makes political decisions, which raise costs and limit treatment alternatives for consumers.(Yes, I said political. Politics is defined as who gets what, when, where and why.) The decisions made by the FDA dictate, which drugs are available for use and for what diseases, they can be used. Wherever possible the FDA, should be limited to serve as source of drug and medical practice information. Individuals in a free society should have the right to treat as they see fit and doctors should have the ability to innovate. Prohibition should be a last resort, especially when life saving treatments is involved.
Democrats will point to the decrease in safety involved in deregulation, but totally dismiss the costs to the individual of the bottleneck that is the FDA. No one can measure the loss of life caused by the prohibition of innovation, which is caused by the FDA. Democrats assume the consumer is stupid and must be guided by the expert in Washington. If only these sycophants would realize this.
The emperor has no clothes! There are and always will be snake oil salesmen. There will always be those, who prey on the uninformed. We already have fraud statutes, with both civil and criminal penalties to deal with these bad actors. The ultimate answer to this type of slick operator is information and training.
Information about treatment success should be the task of the FDA, so the agency can provide the best uncensored information to the medical professional and the consumer. Training new advice providing medical professionals should be the role of our educational establishment with the guidance of our state governments. While I do concede there is a minor role for federal government here, Inspection and information dissemination not prohibition should be the primary government role. Knowledge is the best social disinfectant!
The FDA should arrange studies and inspections to insure drug purity and provide information about drug treatments and adverse drug reactions. It should become the ultimate health care information provider resource as opposed to its current role as the chief driver of drug expense and innovation limiter. The Agency would facilitate and coordinate information about foreign drug agency approvals and adopt those recommendations, it finds to have been responsibly adopted. We should establish its role as an information clearinghouse rather than an innovation bottleneck.
We must reject the tired clichés of the Democrats that Republicans are for less safety and dirty water and dirty air. Democrats deny the new information age. They stifle by their insistence on government control the creation of new jobs, which could provide pharmacological and new treatment advice. Many in the medical industry believe Pharmacists are currently under utilized. Perhaps there is room here for an expanded role for them. Doctors are too busy treating patients and can’t be expected to know all the latest information about new drugs and alternative treatments. Perhaps we will even witness the creation of a new group of medical/pharmacological professionals to fill this new informational need.
This is the bottom line of this post. Repeal Obamacare Now! It is a sounder political strategy. It would require Democrats to come to the table, if they want some of their ideas to be included in healthcare reform. Trust and allow the people to solve healthcare problems through the free market. The market will respond.
Remove old fashioned pre information age notions that only certain professionals can have valid opinions about drugs and alternative treatments. Better utilize Pharmacy Doctoral graduates as well as those with other advanced bio medical degrees as information disseminators.
Make the FDA and inspection and information clearinghouse not a decider of acceptable treatment. Adoption of free market principles will create a more informed and healthier society with maximum utilization of human and capital resources.