Repealing Obamacare

(The following was published today by my local newspaper, The Signal, as an opinion piece on 15 March 2017)

 

In the Weekender edition of The Signal published March 10th was an editorial by Jim de Bree entitled “Long road to fixing Obamacare”. Unfortunately, I think his column is very far off the mark.

The first clue: his use of the term “level playing field”. Every time I hear that nonsense, I know I’m about to be hit with some Big Government socialist scheme that usually involves wealth redistribution, and government interference in this arena is a perfect example.

What Jim doesn’t seem to accept is that government isn’t the solution to the problem; government IS the problem.

We need to get the government OUT of the health insurance field altogether. The Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity, not of outcome, so the government has no legitimate role to play in “leveling the playing field” while interfering with free-market solutions to the problem as would be realized by competitive product availability, as well as private philanthropic and charitable activities.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are three simple steps to addressing the problems in this arena:

  1. Remove the barriers to interstate sales of health insurance products. Free market product competition will, by its very nature, lower prices and increase choice options for consumers.
  2. Streamline the FDA drug approval process. It can currently cost upwards of a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market, or a medical procedure to accepted practice.
  3. Institute major medical tort reform to eliminate the need for the practice of “defensive medicine”. Patients are often subjected to unnecessary testing and other procedures their doctors require simply in an effort to indemnify themselves from potential future lawsuits. Defensive medicine is a significant cost multiplier.

Do those three simple things and we’ll see healthcare and related costs stop their spiraling ascent, and return those costs to an actual basis reflecting real needs and usage as determined by free market principles.

Socialized medicine, under whatever guise, is NOT the answer.

 

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11 comments on “Repealing Obamacare

  1. Virginia Patriot says:

    The attendants of Fedzilla in Congress are trying to preserve the enormous power that Fedzilla gained with Obamacare. The entire purpose of RINOcare is to keep intact that federal infrastructure of agencies and the power acquired of being in the center of all healthcare in America and controlling access to all medical records.

    The GOP had never had any intention of actually repealing Obamacare.
    The whole “repeal and replace” is a shell game designed to cover the tweaking of, and name change of, a failing disastrous albatross that should be jettisoned as soon as possible.

    The Uniparty eunuchs will never vote to remove power from Fedzilla.

    • BrianR says:

      That could well be, VaPat. And if they do that, I think they can look forward to having a real bad mid-term experience.

      The PSP has all the levers of power now. Finally. No more excuses possible for not living up to their campaign promise of eight years now.

      • Virginia Patriot says:

        Oh, they always have plenty of excuses.
        They needed the House, so we gave it to them.
        They needed the Senate, so we gave it to them.
        They needed the White House, se we gave them that, too.

        Now they say they don’t have 60 seats.
        We could give them 60 seats and they would say they needed more.

        They really don’t want to repeal.

        They service Fedzilla, not the citizens.

      • BrianR says:

        Yeah, which is why they could well be looking at a trip to the woodshed in the mid-terms. Their lame-ass excuses are gone now.

  2. CW says:

    I would add one more thing, and that would be to mandate transparency in the pricing of healthcare services. We have laws that require MacDonald’s to publish the calorie content of every burger and fries it sells, but if you need to shop for health services (such as surgeries or ongoing treatments) that may cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket you need a PHD in research to be an informed consumer. If we had a real free market without the extraordinary influence of the insurance middle man, healthcare service providers would have a natural incentive to make their prices both available and, more importantly, competitive. However, because of the deals they make with the various insurance companies and with the biggest customer of all – state and federal governments – they are able to ignore the consumer who wants to be educated about what things really cost. As you know, I don’t generally suggest adding to our laws, but because of the way insurance unduly alters the market this is one instance where I think the feds could actually do something constructive.

    • BrianR says:

      Good point.

      Here’s a little-known fact: if you’re a cash customer, you can usually negotiate the fees with your healthcare provider.

      • captbogus2 says:

        I take a bladder control pill from Myrbetriq that, with Medicare AND private health insurance still costs $95.00. Last time to WalMart the pharmacist gave me the address for cupons advertising, “75% Off” So Monday I go in with my cupons and am told the company does not honor the cupons if you are on Medicare!
        THE LYIN’!@#%!!**’ER’s. That damn medicine is prescribed 95% of the time to OLD people who are on Medicare.

      • BrianR says:

        Yeah, I had that same thing happen with one of my meds.

        One more reason to get the damned government out of healthcare and get private free market solutions back to work.

  3. captbogus2 says:

    Other than that…Back in the day there was a City/County hospital in nearly every county. Pre-existing conditions should not be forced by law to be covered. If they are why should Anyone carry insurance until they need it???
    The Congress has totally missed the point expressed by the people. Obamacare should be REPEALED, not “repealed and replaced.”

    • BrianR says:

      EX-actly!

    • CW says:

      What do you expect? “The people” elected a President who ran on repeal and replace, and Trump didn’t stop there. He said HE was going to make sure all Americans had health coverage (HE being the taxpayers, naturally). Is it any wonder that this is what Republicans are offering?

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