Healthcare/Obamacare

Printer-friendly

Healthcare
(Summarized position)
With the increase in Ebola and other diseases, healthcare is often foremost on our minds. Americans were deeply divided when Barack Obama pushed through his Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare"). The claim was that there were 47 million uninsured Americans. The problem is, the premise was hardly ever challenged. Even if 47 million are uninsured, is it willingly or not? Many younger people opt to not purchase healthcare insurance as they believe the risk is not big enough for the expense. What Obamacare essentially is doing is forcing all people to carry some sort of healthcare insurance or pay a fine. This is unprecedented in American history -- forcing citizens to purchase a product against their will. For example, if you don't want to purchase automobile insurance, then don't own and operate an automobile. However, there is no way out of this "tax" (per what the Supreme Court ruled) called Obamacare.


The government needs to have as many people paying into this new program as possible; since it promises to insure people despite any pre-existing conditions. It requires that the healthy majority pay the bills for those otherwise unhealthy.

WHAT ABOUT THE POOR AND ELDERLY

The USA already had healthcare provisions for the poor and elderly -- these programs are called Medicaid and Medicare, which combined are presently budgeted at $818 billion per year. We did not need an entirely new program to service the poor and elderly. As a matter of fact, Obamacare actually shifts funds from Medicare to help fund Obamacare (Congressional Budget Office - source).

OBAMACARE EFFECTS

Despite the spin of how people will love the new program, Obamacare and its blatantly unAmerican concept of forcing one person to pay the way for another has already had very adverse effects on the USA.

  1. Job Loss
  2. Increased Expense
  3. Doctor Loss

Even the Congressional Budget Committee estimated Obamacare would cause the loss of 800,000 jobs. They claim this would be due to people quitting their jobs because they only had jobs for the health insurance. (source) However, many employers attempting to save money have begun either not employing people over 28 hours a week or dropping their company healthcare plans altogether. For example, Walmart; the largest employer in the United States said in Oct 2014 it would drop healthcare coverage for approximately 30,000 employees who work less than 30 hours a week. (source) and increase expenses for all other employees.


The increased expense is first from the simple fact that people are being FORCED to participate or pay a fine. There is no way an average citizen can opt out of Obamacare. You either have your own insurance or Obamacare or pay a fine. If you opted to have no healthcare coverage, you would be in trouble. However, Obama HAS allowed some of his cronies to opt out. (source)
The next expense is the simple fact that anything the federal government administrates comes loaded with bureaucracy which is more expensive than a private entity.


Lastly, people being forced to change plans often find that their life-long doctor is not part of the new plan. Or worse, their doctor is choosing to retire rather than deal with the mess of Obamacare.

BAD DEAL

Obama is like the new manager of a company that comes in and forces a bad policy on everyone because of two or three people. There were other ways to improve health insurance and I'm about to share my solution.

GOOD DEAL

Instead of forcing people to pay for other people; which is an extremely unAmerican concept; I propose we repeal Obamacare and instead implement a policy that if private health insurers want to sell insurance; they must post individual "buffet-style" selections online; at a common industry website where all other plans can be compared. In this way, the buyer can decide exactly what kind of coverage they need. A single male may not want gynecology coverage.


For an example of what I'm talking about think about sites like priceline.com. See this example.
The key is:

  1. Interstate policies - allowing companies to insure buyers in any state.
  2. Price transparency - posting online in direct competition creates market.
  3. Individualization/Portability - Buyer chooses coverage, keeps coverage anywhere in USA
  4. Allow employers to decide if paying portion or all of employee's individual coverage is less expensive than group plans.

Of course there are negatives to my proposal -- unlike a politician, I am humble enough to admit my plan doesn't fix everything in one instant. I imagine one side-effect of forcing the insurance companies to provide individualized coverage, is that the companies would make individualized plans more expensive, since group plans bring a larger pool of funds. However, the free-market has a way of resolving this. Some insurance companies would provide low cost individual coverage which would eventually force the hold-out companies to join in or lose market share.


Next, what do I do with all the people who can't afford coverage? Again, we ALREADY had provisions in place for these people -- it is called Medicaid and Medicare. For those people currently on some form of Obamacare, they would eventually be phased out to return to either the private choice of coverage or back to Medicaid/Medicare.


Lastly, how does this help overall costs and quality of care? Well, as I stated; competition has been proven to lower prices for consumers. With the direct transparency of coverage and price comparisons, the insurance companies are less able to play games with the policy owners.
As for quality of care, this was never really an issue anyhow. There is a reason people come to the United States for healthcare -- think of the recent Ebola patients. However, again with the online, transparent market, healthcare providers will be able to see the going rate that healthcare insurers will pay for procedures. The costs should level out and the care be prime.

Add new comment

COMMENT POLICY rodericke.com philosophy of transparency, honesty, and liberty allows for guests to make comments without registration or login. Note all comments will be moderated but most legitimate comments will be published even if critical. -- Thanks for commenting - RECENT COMMENTS