What is currently on display politically now regarding healthcare is why republicans find it so difficult to get anything done when in office. Someone came up with the idea repeal and replace “had” to be done at the same time. Really? Lets really think about that. Obamacare (ACA) was fazed in over a long period of time (seven years) why can it not be fazed out and the new replacement fazed in over a period of time? Not necessarily seven years.
This reminds me somewhat of comprehensive immigration reform. Lets go ahead and install reform and close the border later. It happened once under Ronald Reagan. Sound familiar? Sure! We all said close the border first and then we will do the comprehensive reform. Most of the leaders, regardless of political party, did not agree consequently, the border never got closed and reform never got done. What did that cause?
Well same is true with healthcare. Repeal all, every bit, of the ACA and then replace it keeping the federal government out of controlling it. Costs and deductibles will never go down if deep pockets government stays in control. No where in the constitution is healthcare mentioned as a right or responsibility of government. It is an individual responsibility. In a free society individuals must be responsible for their own welfare. According to the tenth amendment it is either the responsibility of the state or the people.
Otherwise the society is not really free. Freedom is not free things provided by government! Things like mandating children under 26 can remain under the parents healthcare system and pre-existing illness must be covered is fine. Government can mandate that without controlling healthcare completely.
Government taking control and paying for healthcare some cannot otherwise afford is not helping to bring costs down and never will. It will however, do the exact opposite. That is why the F-35 was tens of billions over budget because the deep pockets government can afford it even if it has to increase the national debt. We have demonstrated that have we not? We as a nation did not get where we are today by accident. Good intentions pave the road to the poorhouse. It can for us as a nation as well.
Government giving away free things whether it be healthcare or food only creates the need for more free things. People become dependent quickly that is the reason, or cause, for/of dictatorships. The sign you see in the national parks that reads “don’t feed the animals” has a purpose if they become dependent on getting food from the tourists they will lose their ability to fend for themselves. Just like the animals once the people become dependent they become vulnerable to control and unable to fend for themselves just like the animals. We cannot have give away programs and remain a quasi free nation. It will not work. That is socialism. Socialism always, without exception, leads to other controlling types of government like communism or fascism.
The healthcare system employed prior to obamacare (ACA) was not government involved. Was it perfect? No, of course not at all, but at the time it was likely the best in the world available anywhere. Consequently, the only involvement government should have once the ACA is gone mandating coverage to children up to 26 and preexisting conditions must be covered. The insurance companies will work it out if given time. There are two precise keys to success here; government get out of controlling healthcare and create the way for competition to increase by taking down state barriers. For instance preexisting conditions may require a risk pool much like auto insurance. Consequently, it should be fazed out over a period of time. A suggested period could be two years or possibly even more. After repeal dropping the state bounties should likely be first to enhance competition. Keeping in mind haste makes waste.
In the final analysis if nothing is done soon millions, perhaps tens of millions, of Americans will not have available healthcare. The ACA is obviously self-destructing. While many more millions may no longer be able to afford healthcare. The exchanges who now have only one provider (a monopoly – there are several) if that provider quits who will provide insurance? Government? What do you think that will do to the cost and the national debt? Consequently, President Trump is correct something must be done and it must also be done right. It does not appear it will be done quickly. But it needs to be done precisely. Tax breaks for corporations may help to jump start interest in the insurance companies. Perhaps that should be considered now as well.
Donald (Don) Bitler, Scottsdale
Disabled veteran, Retired pilot
Published Author and fifty plus year