I would hate to be a member of Congress right now with all of the implications of passing or not passing new healthcare legislation. Whether a democrat or republican they are all between a rock and a hard place and surely those with upcoming elections are feeling the pressure. While democrats are faced with defending a failing piece of legislation that they rammed through Congress, republicans have the challenge of making good on campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare.
There is no question that Obamacare in its current state is unsustainable. While it may have provided many previously uninsured Americans with health insurance, this was mostly achieved through the expansion of Medicaid and government subsidies. Average Americans who did not qualify for Medicaid or subsidies were priced out of the market with monthly premiums for an individual upwards of $600.00 and deductibles of often several thousand dollars. One could feasibly have to spend well over $10,000.00 in premiums and deductibles before their insurance covered any healthcare needs.
Another problem created by Obamacare through expansion of Medicaid is that Medicaid only pays pennies on the dollar to providers for their services. This has caused providers to either stop accepting Medicaid patients or raise the healthcare costs that are then passed along to other patients and their insurers, and in response insurers are forced to raise premiums. It becomes a vicious, escalating cycle that will surely implode upon itself if something is not done. And once again, it is the middle class that suffers the most.
Back to the challenges of fixing the problem. On one side you have millions of Americans now dependent upon Medicaid for their healthcare afraid that they are going to lose their coverage; on the other side you have millions of Americans drowning in premiums and healthcare costs or simply going without care that are depending on Congress to repeal Obamacare in hopes that they will again be able to afford health insurance. The rock and the hard place. There is no easy answer to our problem unless someone out there can build a time machine to go back and keep government out of healthcare altogether.
To further complicate the issue, the country is now divided into three groups; those afraid of losing their current coverage, those that believe the current healthcare bills on the table do not go far enough in repealing AHCA, and those that believe the pending bills are at least a start to make it look as though the republicans are keeping their campaign promises. I certainly do not have all of the answers, however, I do believe that our best path would be a gradual one that ultimately removed government from the health insurance business altogether.
I am not necessarily suggesting that Medicaid and Medicare be completely eliminated, but I am suggesting that we change the path our nation has taken and begin a turn away from socialist ideologies. Our ancestors braved much to give us a free society in which we could determine our own destinies and where there was reward for hard work. Our federal government was designed to provide for those things that it was not possible or practical for the people to provide for themselves such as national security and infrastructure. We have come a long way from that, government intrusion into our daily lives is so far-reaching and so common today that most of us do not even notice it.
Healthcare is a very personal thing that should be between the individual and their doctor, and not include the government, or any insurance provider, as a third-party decision maker. We must stand up and resist any ideology that erodes our rights as a free people, including our ability to care for our own bodies as we choose.
Find text for the House healthcare bill here:
Find text for the Senate healthcare bill here: