It’s easy to criticize, and Obamacare has made criticizing even easier. Yet there are a lot of people who actually like it, believe it is doing some serious good, and who don’t see a better plan out there. They need to know exactly what is wrong with Obamacare and what is a better way to do insurance.
The first step in improving health insurance/care is not to have a plan. That is to say, the worse thing we can do is have a 2,800 page bill that we “have to pass it so we can know what’s in it.”
The general routine in Congress for dealing with an issue is to combine the issue with as many similar and dissimilar issues as possible. The perceived goal is to make the bill as long as possible. That way, fewer people will read the bill; and many parts of the bill will be voted on without the courtesy of discussing or debating them. In fact, many of the parts of this bill (and all these long bills) would not pass on their own. But being safely tucked within a much larger all-encompassing bill that is touted as solving the first issue, it may get votes from people who don’t want to vote against a ‘good’ bill just for some ‘smaller’ matters they disagree with.
So in this first step, you don’t want a large, all-encompassing bill. Take the issues one by one, debate them, solicit public input, and then vote on them when you get it right.
Which leads to the second step in improving health insurance/care. If you recall the passing of Obamacare, congressmen were given waivers from Obamacare for their states or districts in return for their votes. So votes were bought from people who would not be affected by the bill. Then the vote was taken in the middle of the night with great haste, knowing that people might have second thoughts (or the public might catch on to what was happening.)
This was a bill that was forced on the American people. And the only way that this doesn’t happen again is to break down complex issues into simple ones and discuss and vote on them separately rather than on 2,000 pages of rules and regulations no one knows about. Any time you see legislators in a hurry to pass a bill, be sure that this bill contains things that most people won’t like.
If that’s the case, you might wonder why politicians aren’t afraid of backlash. That’s because the general political strategy is to buy off segments of the population with legislation that offers some significant benefit to this particular group. Doesn’t matter what it costs, how it will be paid for, or how it affects everything else. These segments will vote for their own benefits, and the sum total of these segments gives them the majority they need to win elections.
So the second step in improving health insurance/care is not to rush through so-called ‘needed’ legislation.
Which leads us to the third problem with Obamacare. The selling point here is supposed to be affordability. Well, the only people who will find this plan more affordable are those for whom the government will provide subsidies to help pay for it. So this is the segment the politicians are trying to buy off. Those who get cheaper health insurance will vote for these politicians. Those whose rates will go up may or may not vote for them, depending on what other benefits these politicians have given them.
Our country is $17 trillion in debt. We will be $20 trillion in debt if/when Obama finishes his term in office, and we are creating another large mass of people dependent on the government for their basic necessities of life. At some point very soon, this entire economy could collapse.
There are two other problems with Obamacare that are making it more unaffordable for everybody. The government is dictating the terms of the insurance contracts, telling companies and people what coverage they have to have and how much the insurance companies will pay for. The government essentially is forcing people to get more coverage than they need, but they are also removing personal incentives that in the past enabled people to get lower rates.
So older people are paying for maternity coverage; and healthy people, as in non-smokers, are paying the same rates as smokers.
Ok, so now what do we do? The goal, of course, is the best health care at the cheapest prices and the widest availability.
There is a move today to separate medical insurance from employment, but I believe that is a mistake. Group plans are always cheaper than individual plans; and generally, there are no restrictions on getting the insurance.
However, our country has lost millions of good-paying, full-time jobs due to government policies sending them all overseas; but this can be reversed. We tax our own companies with some of the highest corporate taxes in the world, and then we allow foreign companies we can’t tax free access to sell their goods here. So our companies move overseas, where they don’t have to pay these taxes to sell their stuff here. But if we eliminate the corporate tax here or tax foreign products when they come into our country, this would easily create millions of decent paying jobs that could/would offer group health insurance.
We also need incentives for people to choose healthier lifestyles, like lower rates if you exercise, get regular checkups, etc.; and people need the option to choose exactly what coverage they want. These don’t require the government to do anything but to stop micromanaging people’s lives.