After Obamacare’s Repeal: The Replace Part
We all know the problems with Obamacare, both in content and in the way in which it was passed. However, the fact remains that our healthcare system is not serving our healthcare needs. People are being denied insurance and premiums are way up—especially after Obamacare (ironically named the Affordable Care Act) was passed. When a patient has insurance, providers bill substantially more—like five times as much—as they bill uninsured patients. And death panels (a nicer name could be found, but that won’t make what they do any nicer) already exist, denying life-saving treatments to the elderly in favor of cheaper “comfort care.” A solution must be found that values the life of every person, gives doctors and patients authority to decide best care, and also saves money.
The following nine points represent my modest attempt to solve the problem.
1. Extend the retirement age to 70 and also delay Medicare eligibility until that age.
2. Stop treating people over 62 (or even 55!) as “seniors” and acknowledge the (good) reality that people are living longer healthier, and can still contribute.
3. Reduce healthcare costs through tort reform, not requiring drug companies to give free medicine to the Third World–which is one reason why we pay so much for pharmaceuticals–and reducing paperwork requirements.
4. Reduce insurance costs through encouraging more groups to form voluntarily to spread the risk and allowing people to freely buy health insurance across state lines.
5. Stop allowing illegals to get on Medicaid, and enforce Medicaid laws.
6. Instead of increasing unemployment insurance benefits, allow the unemployed and underemployed to use part of those benefits to buy health insurance.
7. Instead of allowing insurance companies to reject folks with preexisting conditions, allow people to buy insurance to exclude certain treatments (for instance, instead of being rejected for having psoriatic arthritis, one could opt to sign an exclusion for Embrel, etc.) Life-saving treatments could not be excluded–in such cases, allow more U.S. citizens with low income to go on Medicaid. For instance, low income, childless singles are generally excluded from receiving Medicaid. That should change.
8. Require doctors to charge no more than 10% more for insurance cases than they do for self-pay (to account for paperwork), and require insurance companies to reimburse whatever the doctor orders (no formulary). Both insurance companies and doctors could report cases of non-compliance by the other party to the state insurance commissioner.
9. Any treatment recommended by a doctor and accepted by a patient should be followed. If the company won’t pay for it, there must be an option for partial self-pay in such cases.
Maybe not all of these will work, but they are all worth a try. And perhaps given time, maybe I can come up with two more nines to add some extra pizzazz.