Obamacare, Trumpcare, or Whocares!
Writing about the problems plaguing Obamacare these last few weeks has enabled the sharpening of my thoughts on the bottom line issues of our healthcare system.
It makes no difference what we call our system – be it Obamacare or Trumpcare. It makes no difference who makes the final payment to the providers – the government, the insurance companies, or the patients. The fact of the matter is this – Americans pay for the healthcare costs of Americans. It is not the government or the insurance companies. All the government and insurance companies do is accept payments from the policyholders and patients, reduce the amount through profits and inefficiencies, and give the rest to the providers.
So, where do we go from here? We must remove costs from the system, not move them around through deductibles, subsidies, premiums, co-pays, tax penalties, and co-insurance payments. Any new healthcare law that tinkers with the flow of money is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
How do we remove costs from the system? Some ideas:
- We need to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices. It is cheaper to get our drugs from Canada than it is to get them here.
- We should allow the purchase of insurance across state lines to increase competition. There are many counties that only have one health plan to choose from. This problem is getting worse as more insurance companies reduce their offerings due to losses.
- We need to offer catastrophic health plans so people can buy the type of benefits they want. My family uses naturopathic methods which are not covered by insurance. All we need is very high deductible coverage in case of a major health crisis.
- We need to reward personal responsibility, and discourage irresponsible personal health behaviors. One Christian-based cost sharing plan does not cover costs related to unhealthy behavior. Examples are smoking, alcohol and drug use, reckless driving, sexually-transmitted diseases, pregnancy outside of marriage, and abortions. By comparison, the premium on this plan is 25% of my current Obamacare plan.
Taking personal responsibility for our health will lower our national health care bills, and improve affordability for all Americans.
While America is the land of the free, America is not free.