Healthcare is the big elephant in the room that everyone wants to talk about, but nobody does anything with, and when they do, the make the elephant bigger because they screw it up. Let’s be honest, the American Care Act was a failure. The problem is that now the lawmakers are going to try and do what they do with everything, place band aids or patches to problems here and there, which will only make things worse. I can say that the ACA was a failure because I have been on both sides of the law. I saw my private premiums rise over 500% over Obama’s terms and I was briefly placed on the government program without even signing a document.
Without going into the obvious fraud plagued by the system to generate participants to make the politicians look good and provide positive results of a broken law and the rise in premiums, I’m going to offer solutions. The solution is never to punish the middle and upper class to divert funds or care to the lower class, but to develop a system that works for everyone.
First and foremost, insurance companies need to compete across state lines. There is a long-standing fact that nobody can dispute in that the more competition there is, the lower the prices the consumer will see, so let’s start there. We then need to address some type of pricing norm so that the insurance companies know how to compete. Everyone knows that they may pay $1000 for an MRI at Hospital X and then pay $2000 for the same MRI at Hospital Y. I would mandate that every hospital in America must publicly publish their prices for every service. This would define competition parameters for the insurance companies and make the hospitals compete with themselves first, before the insurance companies have to compete for your business. Creating a double competition market would literally cut costs in half over night.
Pre-existing conditions must be covered by insurance companies and I would make that law. With a double competition market, the insurance companies can build in across the board costs to be shared by all for pre-existing conditions. The key to this is that, even though it would raise premiums for everyone, there would still be a net reduction due to the double competition market. I think every American would pay a little bit per month to help others out, especially when it would still mean a net reduction in premium. I don’t think there is a single one of us that doesn’t have a family member with a pre-existing condition.
Tackling the low-income people is a little more complicated, but not as much as the current “leaders” would have you believe. We must get away from “State” insurance and doctors that deal in quantity over quality. Everyone would be covered under private insurance, but the lower income people would have subsidies. Those subsidies would go to the insurance companies to cover the difference or the entire cost of the premium. That way, nobody is on “State” insurance and can be seen by any doctor covered by that carrier and plan. After experiencing over 45 day wait times under the ACA, it’s obvious that system doesn’t work because you can’t wait 45 days to see a doctor.
There does need to be checks and balances to the system to avoid fraud and it’s time the Democrats got on board with this and stopped yelling mindless untrue facts like Republicans want you to die. If someone is getting a subsidy, they need to submit to certain restrictions. There needs to be a work requirement attached in that the person is either working but doesn’t earn enough, or that they are unemployed and must provide proof of actual employment seeking. We have let government benefits become a crutch to too many people so that they never take steps forward. Also, at their first doctor’s appointment, and any appointment after a 6-month period, the person must take and pass a drug test. We simply cannot keep handing out benefits without rules and regulations.
A conversation over healthcare cannot go without talking about prescription drug prices. Everyone needs to understand that it takes millions of dollars and years developing drugs for safe use. We cannot ignore the fact that these companies work for profit, and that is OK. However, we do need to place regulations on these companies so that it is fair to the American people. If you haven’t already, this would be a good time to read my view on capitalism and the need to use our price gouging laws effectively. Simply put, we need to allow these companies to recoup their costs and make a reasonable profit.
In reality, we probably can’t cover every person in America because every person may not want to be covered. They may choose to waste their life on drugs or alcohol and refuse to do their part to receive subsidies and good care. We must have that honest conversation that if someone isn’t willing to help themselves, the government can’t force that, and the American people should not pay for that. However, in any event, anyone, just like they can today, can walk into an emergency room and get treated regardless of their ability to pay. Therefore, just as it is today, every American can get medical treatment and anyone that tells you otherwise or gives you a story that “people will die” are lying to you. Let’s #GovernTogether and get healthcare taken care of once and for all.