Friday, January 27, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
President Donald Trump delivers opening remarks during a meeting with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House January 23, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Trumpcare to Include Nationwide Catastrophic Coverage?
Obamacare, with its authoritarian confiscatory mandates and with its increasing premiums and deductibles, should be replaced by a free-market model that would insure more Americans at affordable rates while restoring competition and choice. President Trump has already made a good start by calling for competitive bidding for the purchase of drugs by Medicare and Medicaid and for health
insurance to be offered across state lines. The drug companies have been gouging the taxpayer and the government for decades to the tune of many billions of dollars.
Ending these sweetheart deals would result in billions saved. This would be a rebuke to the drug companies and their obscene profits, to their lobbyists, to the money donated to politicians in both parties, and to a corrupt and incestuous establishment that has grown up around those companies. Only President Trump appears to have the guts to take them on.
Speaker Paul Ryan is proposing high-risk
state insurance pools and this might be extended to include a national insurance pool. The pools provide insurance coverage to a person with a catastrophic illness who has been declined coverage by at least two insurance companies. They would be privately run with government oversight, funded by the private insurance companies through a surcharge and they would receive some public subsidy. By removing cases of catastrophic illness from the rolls of the private insurance companies, premiums would drop for the rest of us. Participants in the pools would pay an adjusted premium for the coverage and those who qualify as indigent would be partially or fully subsidized in certain cases.
One reason why
health insurance has become so expensive, besides the mandate to cover those with catastrophic illness, is the mandates to cover various things like sex-change operations and abortifacients. This coverage, besides raising the question of whether the citizen or the company should be forced by law to offer such coverage, is the primary driver of cost increases. The mandates, put in place by lobbyists on the state level and, thanks to Obamacare, on the national level, should be eliminated except for basic catastrophic coverage. The customer, operating in an atmosphere of competition, should be able to find insurance companies that offer riders that would cover the specific areas they seek coverage for.
As a means of expanding competition and choice, companies offering
insurance benefits should be encouraged to contribute to a fund owned by the employee with the account earmarked for insurance and medical purposes. These funds would be interest bearing and portable to the employee if they leave their job. Besides containing a mandate to purchase market based basic coverage, the owner of the fund could choose supplemental policies such as life insuranceand approved doctor’s visits. By offering choice, the account owner knows their balance after the mandated basic coverage and would therefore shop around for additional coverage which would tend to drive down the cost of healthcare in general.
The private sector approach for the private citizen and the company should replace Obamacare because the consumer will save money and the healthcare system itself will improve.
Chuck Morse is an author and radio talk show host. Chuck received the 2003 Communicator of the Year award from the National Right to Work Committee and was named a "Heavy 100" Radio Talk Host by Talkers Magazine. Chuck ran for Congress in Massachusetts against Barney Frank. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.