The GOP’s Obamacare wish list
Many Americans are questioning the future of Obamacare after the election of Donald Trump. President-elect Trump made it clear during his campaign that one of his top priorities is to repeal and replace the ill-fated law. The message clearly resonated with many voters.
So where do we go from here? Republicans are coalescing around Speaker Paul Ryan’s Better Way plan for health care reform, a prudent and practical plan that will revive our health care system, put patients first, and provide access to quality coverage and care for all Americans.
Overall, Obamacare has been unpopular, expensive, and unworkable. However, some individual portions of the law are supported by Americans. Republicans will undoubtedly incorporate these popular aspects into the next generation of health care. These policies will: allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26, prohibit lifetime limits on insurance coverage, protect those who suffer from pre-existing conditions, incentivize, though not mandate, employers to offer health care coverage, and make refundable tax credits available.
Here are some of concrete ideas to reduce regulations and mandates while promoting consumer choice. Under Obamacare, the ratio was moved from a five-to-one ratio to a three-to-one ratio, meaning that an older person’s insurance premium could not cost more than three times that of a younger person’s premium. This has had the dual effect of bringing older, sicker individuals into insurance pools while increasing costs on younger individuals. Many younger enrollees decided to simply leave the market rather than subsidizing older and sicker enrollees, which has created shortages. Health savings accounts (HSAs)are tax-advantaged saving accounts where funds can only be used to help pay for health care expenses. HSAs incentivize good stewardship of how the money is used because any unused funds at the end of a year are rolled into the next year. They also promote competition within the market. Many small businesses would like to offer their employees health insurance, but are unable to do so because of costs. Under the GOP alternative, small businesses could pool their resources even across state lines to offer association health plans. If labor unions and corporations can already do this, it’s only fair that America’s small businesses be allowed the same benefit. Doctors shouldn’t be forced out of business because of frivolous lawsuits, nor should health care facilities be shut down over litigation. Without substantive medical liability reform, our health care sector will continue to face increased costs, which in turn will increase the price of other health care services. We need to empower the states to take the lead in implementing muchneeded reforms that address real grievances while reducing the cost of defensive medicines. Americans should be allowed to conduct their lives in accordance