Life After Obamacare: A Blueprint for Reform
As Obamacare continues to collapse, more and more lawmakers of both parties in Washington will realize that the law cannot be saved. Sooner rather than later the public will demand that Congress come up with a new approach.
The Heritage Foundation has a blueprint for reform. The extensive research effort – After Repeal of Obamacare: Moving to Patient Centered, Market-Based Health Care – begins with the following preamble:
“Obamacare moves American health care in the wrong direction by eroding the doctor–patient relationship, centralizing control, and increasing health costs. True health care reform would empower individuals, with their doctors, to make their own health care decisions free from government interference. Therefore, Obamacare should be stopped and fully repealed. Then Congress and the states should enact patient-centered, market-based reforms that better serve Americans.”
Here are excerpts from the five principles proposed for reform.
Principle #1: Choose, control, and carry your own health insurance.
“True health reform should promote personal ownership of health insurance. While Obamacare uses government-run insurance exchanges to limit individual choice, real reforms would focus on encouraging Americans to purchase insurance policies that they can take with them from job to job and into retirement in a competitive, free market.”
Principle #2: Let free markets provide the insurance and health care services that people want.
“Many individuals have already learned that, due in part to
Obamacare, with its government-run health exchanges, new bureaucracies, and other forms of government control, they will not be able to retain their current health insurance. There is a better way, and it involves providing more choice through market incentives rather than undermining markets through centralized bureaucracy.”
Principle #3: Encourage employers to provide a portable health insurance benefit.
“Because most Americans traditionally have received health insurance from their employers, many individuals have few, if any, choices when selecting a health plan. According to the broadest survey of employer plans, nearly nine in 10 firms (87 percent) offer only one plan type, and only 2 percent offer three or more plan types. As a result, employees have only a very limited ability to choose the plan that best meets their needs.”
Principle #4: Assist those who need help through civil society, the free market, and states.
“While some health reforms—such as changing the tax treatment of health insurance and reforming the Medicare program—remain fully within the purview of the federal government, states also play a critical role in enacting reforms that can lower costs, improve access to care, and modernize state Medicaid programs. By serving as the “laboratories of democracy,” states can provide examples for other states—and the federal government—to follow.”
Principle #5: Protect the right of conscience and unborn children.
“Government should not compel individuals to undertake actions that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. Regrettably, Obamacare imposes just such a requirement on Americans, forcing many employers to offer, and individuals to purchase, health coverage that violates the core tenets of their faith regarding the protection of life. Congress should ensure that individuals never again are required to violate their religious beliefs to meet a government diktat.”
It is none too early for members of Congress to abandon the disastrous Obamacare scheme and begin the tough task of drafting sensible reforms. All agree that there is no going back to the status quo; health care consumers deserve protection as well as options.
Nevertheless, common sense health care solutions can promote market-based competition among insurance companies that would lower costs and provide consumer choice. Most of all, common sense solutions would put individuals instead of government in charge of their most personal concern, health care for themselves and their families.
- Obamacare moves American health care in the wrong direction. It undermines the doctor–patient relationship, centralizes health care decisions, and increases health care costs.
- Therefore, Obamacare should be stopped and fully repealed.
- Once this is accomplished, Congress and the states should pursue patient-centered, market-based reforms that get health care reform back on track.
- Such reforms should focus on letting individuals choose and control their own health insurance; allowing the free markets to respond to consumer demand; encouraging employers to provide portable health insurance to their workers; helping those in need through civil society, the free markets, and the states; and protecting the right of conscience and unborn children.
During the course of his career, Walker has worked in Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, and Phoenix. He served as a reporter in Chicago, a press secretary and speechwriter in Washington, and in numerous positions in New York in corporate and financial services communications.
Walker is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.