Wednesday, February 18, 2015

THE RIGHT SOLUTION TO AMERICAN HEALTH CARE

America has witnessed a long and painful dissection of the Affordable Care Act.  Pointed debate from the right and the left about the viability of Obamacare continues.  Now, citizens are looking for solutions to stabilize our health care system and provide common sense certainty to the future of health care in America.

As time goes on with Obamacare, more are discovering the pitfalls of the policy and even more are being negatively impacted.  You name it.  From loss of coverage, astounding premiums, loss of physician choice, increased drug costs, and higher deductibles, Americans over time are feeling significant impacts.  

Obamacare on its own merits is imploding.  The "Affordable" Care Act will simply run out of money.  The entire policy depended on young, healthy, premium paying citizens to bring in billions of revenue to leverage health care for the ill and elderly.  The thresholds for healthy citizens set by the White House to pay for Obamacare have fallen far short of expectations.  

So, what will replace the unaffordable care act?

On the left, the push is for a single payer system.  A complete government run system.  Basically, 100% socialized health care.  Single payer will mandate all premiums be paid directly to the federal government.  In essence, single payer health care will completely eliminate the entire health care component of the private insurance market.  Medical insurance as we know it will cease.  Americans will be totally dependent on the federal government for their health care coverage as well as government controlled premiums, deductibles and access to physicians.

Now, let's talk about the right solution for health care in America.

Conservatives offer free market solutions that will combine free market principles, legal reform and continuity of insurance coverage.  These reforms will dramatically lower premiums, increase provider care, broaden choice of physician, and provide affordable insurance to alleviate dependency on Medicaid.

These reforms would replace Obamacare after a full legislative repeal by Congress.

Here's a brief overview of health care solutions from the right:

  • Interstate Health Insurance Competition.  This is the single best solution to curing America's health care crisis.  Currently, citizens can only purchase medical insurance within their state.  They cannot shop around to other state insurance carriers for a better rate or better overall coverage.  Should Congress allow interstate insurance competition, insurance companies will dramatically lower premium rates, lower deductibles and enhance medical services covered by insurance agencies.  Insurance companies will completely structure their policies to be the most attractive and affordable across the country.  Americans would have an extraordinary degree of choice of medical insurance.  This is free market health care at its best.    
  • Health Care Industry Tort and Legal Reform.  Over the past 50 years health care providers have been smothered by litigation and the cost of liability coverage.  The threat of frivolous and multi-million dollar lawsuits have forced medical facilities and physicians to pass the cost of major liability coverage to patients and insurers.  Thus, driving up the cost of health care, spiking premiums and performing costly, perhaps unnecessary tests and procedures.  Should Congress take action to provide targeted Tort reforms, this would greatly relieve pressure on providers to pass costs to patients.  These reforms must be limited in nature.  Some examples: set criteria that must be satisfied to file a medical lawsuit, consider setting caps for non-catastrophic medical lawsuits, set a statute of limitation for class action cases, and set a "loser pays" mandate for medical related lawsuits.  
  • Compassionate Conservatism in Health Care.  When it comes down to it, there are some wedge issues that must be addressed by the right concerning health care.  There are significant gaps in coverage that with careful policy consideration could be resolved.  First, Congress needs to assure portability of coverage as individuals move from job to job.  This is broadly supported by the right and left.  Secondly, Congress needs to address insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions.  This might be difficult for some legislators to enact.  However, this is a true human issue that needs federal backing to provide clarity for insurance companies and certainty for at risk patients.
Now here's the awesome part of the right's solutions.  The combined savings of interstate insurance competition and legal reform will create hundreds of Billions, possibly Trillions, in savings for patients and providers.  These savings will drive the cost of medical insurance so low that it will be incredibly affordable for many that are considered working poor.  In essence, the cost and breadth of coverage will be very attractive to low income America.  This will entice individuals to leave Medicaid.  Which would greatly lower the impact of Medicaid on state budgets.  Reversing a trend in most states with Medicaid consuming over 25% of the overall budget.

Here's some other great net effects of the reforms...

Patients and medical providers come out winners.  Physicians would not longer have to perform extra tests/procedures to protect against litigation.  This will save enormous amounts of revenue and medical resources.  Patients will no longer be put at risk for unnecessary procedures.  

The trend of retiring physicians would be curtailed and perhaps reversed.  Doctors would be able to return to private practice due to lower liability costs.  This would also improve healthcare by dramatically increasing physician choice and one-on-one care.  

Insurance competition would be incredible for the consumer.  Insurance companies would structure their medical policies to be the most competitive for individuals and businesses.  Insurers may have price wars across state lines to offer plans to gain the most customers.  Customers would see plans offering more coverage for more medical services at a lower cost.  Deductibles and co-pays could disappear as companies continue to compete for more customers.


Bottom line:  Free-market solutions, legal reforms and compassionate conservatism will blow away any of the big government, Obamacare policies of the left.  These solutions will unleash the opportunity for more Americans to receive genuine, affordable medical coverage than ever before.  And, restore confidence and strengthen the world's best health care system.

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