Obamacare: Repeal immediately or let it crash
Obamacare is a disaster. Premiums have increased, deductibles have increased, and workers have had their hours cut to part-time status so the employers do not have to pay for health insurance. The federal government dictates the coverage in your health insurance plan.
Republicans are divided. Trump, Ryan, and the supporters of the Ryan plan are taking heat from the political left, right, center, and the Opposition Party.
Do we need a new federal government health plan to replace a bad federal plan? Any plan, no matter how well intended, will be another version of Obamacare because it attempts to be a complex plan regulating one sixth of the economy. The premise of a federal plan is that the federal government should have a plan. This is wrong.
The supposed reason for Obamacare was that there were many "uninsured," not that they did not receive health care.
The real question is to have affordable health insurance. Government cannot dictate affordable health insurance, or affordable anything. There must be free-market competition among insurance companies and among medical providers with informed consumers to make choices.
Health insurance should be treated like any other insurance policy. You should be able to select a policy designed specifically for your needs from a cafeteria-type plan with basic mandated coverage such as surgery, hospital care, yearly exams, and diagnostic exams. But you should be able to elect if you want physical therapy, chiropractic care, psychiatric care, pregnancy, and others that may not apply to you. And you should be able to select the deductibles you can afford to lower the premium.
Coverage for pre-existing diseases is a more complicated issue. We can have time periods from immediate coverage up to twelve months or more, with different premiums for each. There can be tax credits for those who cannot afford coverage for pre-existing diseases.
One popular proposal is to expand the health savings accounts. You deposit your money into an account, deduct that amount from your gross income to reduce your taxable income, and then pay your medical bills from this account. This is another complicated tax scheme where you use your own money to pay medical bills with government supervision. It is simpler and achieves the same result if you simply deduct from gross income all your medical expenses in addition to the costs of health insurance premiums.
High-deductible insurance plans are a good idea to reduce premiums. You are self-insured for expenses up to whatever amount you choose. This will force you to shop around for prices on drugs and services and maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the medical care you need.
Other free-market ideas are requiring doctors and hospitals to list the cost of their services and allowing insurance companies to advertise plans and rates to solicit nationwide, just as they do for home, auto, and life insurance.
Why replace Obamacare with another government plan? We should debate whether we need the federal government to an Obamacare-type plan and a real debate on the proposals.
The push for Obamacare was a political move to control one sixth of the economy. We need less regulation and more free-market competition. Remove the barriers to competition, and let the free market work.
Trump would have been better off passing tax reform immediately before dealing with the Obamacare swamp. Ryan has proposed a three-phase bill program to repeal and replace Obamacare because they can do the first bill with a majority vote and the rest with 60 votes, assuming that McConnell will not get rid of cloture. The Democrats will not vote for any Trump plan because they are out to destroy Trump's agenda before the 2018 election.
Why try to fix the mess created solely by Obama and the Democrats when the Democrats will not help? Why should the Republicans take the blame for trying to fix Obamacare when all the critics refer to it as Obamacare lite, and Democrats obstruct every move to pass a health care bill solely for political purposes.
Repeal it now in its entirety, then pass specific bills to allow for free-market competition. Or let it crash, then repeal it in its entirety, and then pass bills to deal with specific issues to allow for free-market competition instead of trying a complex, comprehensive plan that everyone is criticizing. The priority is to get rid of Obamacare, not have an immediate replacement.
We can then blame the Democrats for the crash and take credit for fixing the mess.