All of the Republican presidential candidates campaigned on repealing every “syllable” of Obamacare during the primaries, and many GOP Senate candidates have done likewise.
But as the Leadership Institute’s Morton Blackwell says in his 8th Law of the Public Policy Process: “You can’t beat a plan with no plan.”
For too long, conservatives have stood in opposition to the sort of health care reform Obamacare represents without offering a coherent alternative based on the free market and individual liberty.
Any real health care reform has to start with disconnecting health insurance from employers.
While an ever-expanding government is to explain for part of the third party payment, the disconnect between consumers and payers of health care was established during World War II, when wages were frozen but firms were allowed to give untaxed benefits to workers.
Firms began offering health insurance as a form of compensation in order to offer more competitive pages.
Because health insurance was untaxed while out of pocket spending on health care is, people moved as much of their health care spending as possible to insurance policies.
We’ve ended up with a system where even routine checkups are paid for by insurance companies, despite the fact that they are predictable costs.
While the individual mandate portion of Obamacare has sparked the most outrage and interest, it is linked to the second major provision of health care: the one preventing insurance providers from “discriminating” against people with pre-existing conditions.
People with pre-existing conditions have large, known future health care costs. Guaranteeing payment of these costs is not insurance, but a subsidy for those with poor health.
Insurance, by its very nature, is supposed to reduce the uncertainty in life. What we refer to as health insurance merely shifts around the costs of health care, and ends up adding layers of bureaucracy and reducing competition.
This situation could be improved by making individual health insurance tax deductible, or better yet eliminating all tax deductions are part of a comprehensive tax reform.
Furthermore, federal and state governments should eliminate all health-insurance mandates, allowing individuals to purchase whatever insurance best fits their needs.
Today, the vast majority of health care spending is done by third parties, both by the government or by insurance companies.
The primary issue with health care is this country has been that costs have not borne any relationship with the laws of supply and demand – causing prices to climb.
It is going to be difficult to sell such reforms to a populace used to somebody else paying for all of their health care, but the higher quality and lower costs as a result of a robust marketplace would soon make the improvements obvious.