Life After Obamacare: A Blueprint for Reform

| November 25 2013
John Walker

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 Therefore, Obamacare should be stopped and fully repealed.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.

Key Points

  • 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.
6 comments
dleeper47
dleeper47 moderator

Good post! 

Playing devil's advocate, our "friends" on the Left will counter that the Heritage plan sounds good on the surface, but:

1. The destitute are left to fend for themselves to too great an extent. Some states will not do their job and take care of them, just as some states in the old south (led by Democrats) discriminated against black Americans long after the Civil War. Federal intervention was necessary then, and it's necessary now for health care.

2. What's to keep greedy insurance companies from over-charging and refusing insurance to people with pre-existing conditions? We have to look to the federal govt to control insurance company behavior, because again, states haven't done their job in this area.

3. Competition works in theory, but the states, greedy insurance companies, and crony capitalist state politicians have deliberately limited competition in their state. In some states, Alabama in particular, there is effectively only one health insurance company, Blue Cross / Blue Shield, that provides health insurance. BC/BS and Alabama state legislators have worked to keep out all other providers, and they've succeeded. Again we must turn to the federal govt.

Etc., etc.

Those on the Left will always put their faith in Big Government and central planning rather than the "chaos" of free enterprise. Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, they'll opt every time for "smart people" turning the knobs and dials from Washington. And narcissistic megalomaniacs like Barack Obama are only to happy to oblige.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47 Then we punch them back harder. We don't defend our positions---we attack theirs.

"Contrary to the incessant LIES that you people put forth, central control of health care has made things WORSE, not better, in places like Canada and Great Britain. What makes you think doing it here will be any better?"

"In fact, central control makes EVERYTHING worse, not better. The 20th century is a graveyard of nations who thought they could control everything, and a graveyard for the hundred million people they slaughtered. What makes you think you are any more fit to rule over our lives than they were?"

 "The kind of system you want requires that the government take control of people's lives and force them to do things they may not want to do. What gives them the right to do that? What gives you the right to empower them to do that to us? If they control our lives, they become our oppressors. If you empower them to do so, you are our oppressor too. What gives you the right to force your fellow man to do anything?"

Human history is an endless stream of tales of men believing they have the right to control other men, and seeking to do so. Whether it's despotism, monarchy, fascism, totalitarianism, socialism, or democratic progressivism, the core ideology is always they same. The core principle is always the same: More force exercised in control is better.

Wrong. The one ideology that liberates us all is the ideology that says that the force exercised by the government we empower must be limited to the greatest degree possible. Only the bare minimum needed to create a functional society. Beyond that, we take care of ourselves, and each other.

No more control. No more force. No more experts. No more overlords. Enough.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47 See how that works, everyone? We don't allow ourselves to get dragged into the weeds defending minutia. We make THEM defend their role as oppressors. We make them defend their endless use of force and control for EVERYTHING.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47 Then calmly define terms. We support equality of opportunity and equal treatment under the laws. They support equality of outcome and equal distribution of things. So then ask them, "How do you achieve equality of outcome?" Make them SAY it. Make them admit that they have to put a gun to people's heads and take from them in order to achieve this. Don't let them play the compassion card. Don't let them play the "we just want to rich to pay their fair share" card. MAKE them admit that the only way to achieve their aims is through the use of massive force.

Once you have finally done that, say, "Thank you for finally admitting the truth. You're a fascist."

(I am SO done with these people.)

dleeper47
dleeper47 moderator

I hear you, but 'better' to the Left means 'more equal'. Equality uber alles. That's why they say UK, Canadian, even Cuban healthcare is 'better'. I laugh, but they really mean it.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47Oh, and when they get on the compassion kick, remind them that, in order from most charitable individuals to least charitable individuals, we have

1. Religious CONSERVATIVES

2. Religious Liberals

3. Secular CONSERVATIVES

4. Secular liberals

In each case, CONSERVATIVES as individuals are more charitable. Secular liberals are the most likely to empower the government to use force to be "charitable" with other people's money, but the least likely to give of themselves. 

That makes them

a) hypocrites

b) oppressors

c) liars, for constantly portraying themselves as being the truly compassionate ones

d) calumniators, for constantly accusing us as being uncaring or less compassionate

Stop fighting the left on our ground. Fight them on their ground. NUKE their ground.