As President Obama's health care law began to unravel, conservatives knew that they had been right from the start. From a botched website roll-out to rising premiums for middle class Americans to forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to renounce certain tenants of their faith, it is no wonder that the majority of Americans continue to disapprove of the Affordable Care Act. Years of sounding the alarm on this wide-sweeping overreach of government has led to continuing headlines criticizing the administration for its incompetence in implementing such a flawed law.
Liberals saw their beloved law lampooned by late-night television hosts, kicked around by a range of media outlets and skewered by the very people they intended to help.
And as liberals do best, they continued to throw more money at the problem. Their solutions included: securing a multimillion dollar contract to resuscitate a failed website, putting together ad campaigns aimed to win back the millennials and trotting out Richard Simmons in Spandex to urge participation in the program.
Americans grew even more upset with every announcement by this administration of additional implementation delays for various favored special interest groups. And things have now gotten even worse.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the economy will lose the equivalent of 2.5 million American workers due to ACA’s disincentives to work. Regardless of how some have tried to spin this tragic loss, this is a devastating blow to families. Now more than ever, we need to be encouraging job opportunities and self sufficiency; not dependency on government and declining wages.
This law is simply unfit for the needs of the people it aims to help. Even with ACA in place, the CBO predicts that 31 million U.S. residents will be without health insurance 10 years from now. Almost as bad, buried deep within this 2,000-page law is a hidden provision that puts taxpayers on the hook for bailing out insurance companies that don’t make as much profit as they hope.
Significant changes need to be made in order to provide Americans with an alternative solution that gives real choice, savings and freedom in their health care. Republicans, independents and those Democrats who have openly criticized ACA can coalesce around an alternative that includes several fundamentals:
- Choice. Rules and regulations of this health care law are throwing Americans into a tailspin when they can no longer see their longtime doctor. Insurance companies have to pass along unfavorable changes to their clients, who feel limited in their options. Let’s transform policies to be more patient friendly.
- Health Savings Accounts. These provide people with true choice as to how to spend their pre-taxed money on health care expenses. Congress should repeal the penalties associated with withdrawing funds and encourage their use by more Americans.
- Portability. When a worker leaves a job, he should be allowed to use his preferred coverage at a new place of employment. A replacement law that employs portability gives Americans the consistency and empowerment that Obamacare lacks.
- Savings. Skyrocketing health care costs have gone from a warning to a harsh reality for many Americans. Young people would rather pay a penalty to be uninsured than sign up for the costly plan available to them. Families are seeing their costs double and triple – in some cases, per child.
- Cost control. Obamacare doesn’t even begin to address the factors that really drive up health care for consumers. The authors of this bill ignored the dire need to reform medical malpractice costs. The reality of health care in our country is that doctors are practicing “defensive” medicine for fear of being smacked with lawsuits. Many states have taken on tort reform with success, and the federal government should, too.
- Freedom. We must open up the possibility for purchasing health care across state lines and give consumers a price break that comes when you employ basic principles of the free market. In addition, Congress should consider Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s bill to repeal the so-called “risk corridor” provision and get taxpayers off the hook from bailing out insurance companies.
The majority of Americans are dissatisfied with a health care system designed by Washington bureaucrats. For the system to work effectively, we need to allow people to make their own decisions. Incentivize them to purchase coverage through tax credits instead of punishing them with penalties. For a law that needs the participation of 18 to 34 year olds to survive, this system is significantly lagging.
President Obama’s delays of several key mandates – the individual mandate and the mandate for certain employers – speak for themselves. Let’s finish the job and eliminate mandates for all.