To begin my discussion on what I believe is the right (and best) way to “fix” health insurance, I wanted to go a little deeper into some of President Obama’s key points about his own (inevitably) disastrous ideas to do just that. The following are excerpts from President Obama’s campaign speech from October 30, 2013 in regards to the Affordable Care Act and the opposition against it (with my thoughts/translations in parenthesis):
And since we all benefit, there are parts of this law that also require everybody to contribute, that require everybody to take some measure of responsibility. So, to help pay for the law, the wealthiest Americans — families who make more than $250,000 a year — they’ve got to pay a little bit more. The most expensive employer health insurance plans no longer qualify for unlimited tax breaks. Some folks aren’t happy about that, but it’s the right thing to do.
(People should not be forced by a government to “do the right thing.” It should be a moral choice by the individual, plain and simple. America was not set up to have the ruling elite tell everyone what’s right or wrong. That’s exactly what the founding fathers fought against. America was designed to allow people to help those they believed needed it, and turn away from those they didn’t. People should be able to make that decision for themselves, as they see fit, not be forced by someone else to make it. What if you don’t believe that someone deserves a second chance, or a helping hand? That should be your choice, and allow karma to take care of the rest. When an entity begins to force the masses to be generous, it chips away at our ability to be individuals and make choices based on our own beliefs and circumstances. Looking out for others and offering a helping hand is the right thing to do, but not at the expense of our own well-being.)
One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured, but also the under-insured. And there are a number of Americans –- fewer than 5 percent of Americans -– who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident. Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good.
(Are we really going to “fundamentally change” the way 95% of the people deal with their own ideas of what they want and need in a health plan because of the other 5% who may not have known exactly what they were purchasing? If we continue to change everything because 5% didn’t like something—which is becoming far more common than a lot of people realize—many freedoms will begin to be lost as a result.)
Before the Affordable Care Act, the worst of these plans routinely dropped thousands of Americans every single year. And on average, premiums for folks who stayed in their plans for more than a year shot up about 15 percent a year. This wasn’t just bad for those folks who had these policies, it was bad for all of us — because, again, when tragedy strikes and folks can’t pay their medical bills, everybody else picks up the tab.
(“Everybody else” is still going to picking up the tab with the Affordable Care Act; it’s just going to be done through additional taxes.)
Now, if you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you’re able to keep it. That’s what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made. But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is you’ve got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage — because that, too, was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning.
(But that’s not what he said. He distinctly guaranteed that anyone would be able to keep their plan. Period. But, these “substandard” plans wouldn’t are only being canceled in the first place because of the Affordable Care Act, which means, President Obama lied, straight-up, to the American People. He didn’t say that if the law deems your plan unfit, you won’t be able to keep it. He said, if you like it, you can keep it. Who’s to say what’s substandard anyway? Just because the government thinks it’s substandard doesn’t mean the person who had that plan thinks it was. Isn’t it the choice of the individual to have the ability to say what’s right for him or her? One’s substandard is another’s gold mine. President Obama promised it would stay that way, which was an outright lie. No matter of twisting the truth can cover that up.)
So if you’re getting one of these letters, just shop around in the new marketplace. That’s what it’s for. Because of the tax credits that we’re offering and the competition between insurers, most people are going to be able to get better, comprehensive health care plans for the same price or even cheaper than projected. You’re going to get a better deal.
(I’m not sure about this statement. It may be true, it may not be, but whenever the word “tax credits” is used, it means the people that are going to be paying for it are the ones who don’t get access to said tax credits. And what competition are we talking about? The ones between the bronze plan and the silver plan?)
Now, there’s a fraction of Americans with higher incomes who will pay more on the front end for better insurance with better benefits and protections like the Patient’s Bill of Rights. And that will actually save them from financial ruin if they get sick. But nobody is losing their right to health care coverage. And no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage, or drop you as a customer altogether. Those days are over. And that’s the truth.
(To the cost of who? The rich, as was stated earlier, because, you know, it’s their obligation to pay for everyone else because they must be punished for being successful. And again, who said certain benefits were better than ones a person may have had before. Everyone is different, so no one plan will ever be perfect for everyone. As I’ve said before, men don’t need maternity care. If you are adamant about forcing this massive retooling on everyone, then the only way to do it would be to separate them into women’s plans and men’s plans, with a combined man/woman spousal plan, at the very least. That way, at least we aren’t paying for stuff we will never have to use—ever—in our lifetime.)
So for people without health insurance, they’re finally going to be able to get it. For the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it. For the fewer than 5 percent of Americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal.
(Again, who gave the government the power to dictate what’s “better” for the American public. The government is meant to protect us from everyone who means us harm, not to protect us from ourselves or our personal choices. Individual accountability should matter in a free society; something President Obama knows nothing about because he doesn’t want us to be free. He wants us to be controlled.)
There is one part of his speech I do agree with:
Because I don’t think we should go back to discriminating against kids with preexisting conditions. I don’t think we should go back to dropping coverage for people when they get sick, or because they make a mistake on their application. I don’t think we should go back to the daily cruelties and indignities and constant insecurity of a broken health care system. And I’m confident most Americans agree with me.
Here here, Mr. President. But there is a much better way to do this than by forcing people to pay for something they don’t need. It’s a simple solution, but it doesn’t allow the government to control you or the means behind it. It actually gives the free marketplace a chance to work, so the president and, for the most part, Democrats, won’t even want to listen. I’m going to say it anyway.
Make health insurance companies perform under the same business model as car insurance companies.
Car insurance companies have thrived because of their business model. For anyone who has ever owned a car, you have to pay for insurance. It’s a mandate, yes, but it is a mandate that isn’t meant to necessarily protect you, but to protect the other driver from you. It is meant to guarantee that if you are not at fault in an accident, you will be covered with no penalty. If you are at fault, you will incur a penalty, both in having to pay the required deductibles and in an increase in your premiums.
There are many factors in the price of a premium, from the model and year of your car, to what types of discounts you get (from good driver to multi-car), which offer you choices. If you want a lower premium, you choose to buy a cheaper car, you choose to follow the rules of the road and be extra cautious, you choose what you actually want covered and how much you want that coverage to actually cover. And every year without an accident, in my experience, your insurance premiums go down. Now take this business model and apply it to health insurance.
1) First and foremost, allowing health insurance companies to compete with one another is necessary and the only sane way to begin to lower costs.
2) Allow everyone to choose what they want to have covered and how much they want to have covered. With insurance, no two people are alike. Everyone knows their own personal needs; they know their activities, what they will and won’t do, and can assess their own risk. Like car insurance, it would be up to you how much you are willing to risk and how much you want covered, which gives the individual the power over his own future.
3) Use the insurance model that for every year a person remains healthy (or goes without hospital or doctor visits) premiums are lowered. This will attract people to buy insurance and take care of these major things that President Obama claims he cares about. By following the car insurance model, you can have a pre-existing condition, you just may have to pay a higher premium, just as a driver would have to pay higher premiums if they have several accidents on their record. But depending on how much that individual uses their insurance for claims, the premiums can go up or down. For a healthy person, who may only use their insurance to have a check-up twice a year, their premiums would go down, but once they have a major accident, their premiums would then rise the next year, based on the amount that they had to use, much like having a major car accident.
4) For those that complain about having to put tax dollars into emergency rooms because those without health insurance will use their services instead of going to a regular doctor, well, I’ve got one word for you: SUBSIDIES. Those of us who can still afford health insurance will still have to pay for those people that can’t afford it because they will simply take the government subsidy. And what pays for subsidies? Tax dollars. And where do those tax dollars come from? You see where I’m going with this? But, there are two things we can do to fix this as well. For one, we force those found guilty of frivolous lawsuits to have to pay all court costs for whatever case they filed, including the opposing side. This will keep that at a minimum, thus reduce hospital costs in the long run. Secondly, we have to push back against fraud within the emergency room itself. To do this, we have to force people to pay for care when it’s found not to be an emergency, or when someone is found to be illegally in the country. The emergency room can be free to those citizens with real emergencies, but if someone comes in because of a minor stomach ache, or is found to be illegal, they should be subsequently billed for the service.
There are a few other things that might have to be tweaked to make it work, but this is a far better idea than the one the president and Democrats have forced on the American people. In his own words, we know without a doubt that his entire goal with the Affordable Care Act is to redistribute wealth and force the peons who don’t know any better to continue to to follow without question and do what he and the government bureaucrats say to do, because they know better than you. The majority of government today believes that everyone must tow the line or be punished, that you have no clue what’s best for you, that you should simply shut up and do what you’re told.
There are far better ideas, but because it gives power back to people and individuality, this government wants nothing to do with it.
I’m tired of it. You should be too.