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Need a plan to replace ObamaCare, Republicans? Here it is:
It's called the Affordable Better Care Act, and it starts over, rebuilding the building from the ground up. Because the old one was a shack.
"Man wandering among trees cannot see the forest."
Sadly, this is what our 535 members of Congress are doing, and they can't solve the health care and health insurance mess as a group. They bump into special interests who have supported their re-election campaigns, or they are trying to protect current sweeteners in current law, or they get bogged down with procedures, or they are trying to pay back old political favors.
As a result, their proposed "solutions" are not really solutions. They are minimal increments on a problem to garner enough votes for passage.
The other extreme is a new law that's so complicated and ill-constructed that "they have to pass it so you can find out what's in it". (Looking at you, Nancy Pelosi).
When we find out what's in it after they have shoved it down the throats of the American people, we experience the disaster it is. It's called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, although you know it as ObamaCare, and there is nothing affordable about. It's just the biggest power grab by the Democrats since the early 1990s.
So this is getting us nowhere. Let’s start over!
The Affordable Better Care (ABC) Act
This is a solution that can reverse, not fix, the damage the Democrats caused by inflicting ObamaCare on us, and which the Republicans have yet to fix.
It has six parts, which in total account for 100 percent of the population:
- Health insurance purchased through an employer (49 percent)
- Health insurance purchased directly from the individual market (7 percent)
- A government-subsidized high-risk pool (8 percent)
- People already covered by Medicare (14 percent)
- People already covered by Medicaid (20 percent)
- People insured through the military or the VA (2 percent)
* Percentages from latest Kaiser Foundation analysis
* Total percentages equal 100% of the US population
Here’s why this works:
Open competition among health insurance companies will make health insurance more affordable. No mandates, no penalties, no government-defined coverage, no insurer subsidies. Consumers choose!
Open competition allows employers to maintain shared cost coverage with the 49 percent of people covered through employers. Employers choose!
Open competition allows businesses with 50 employees or fewer to craft and decide coverage for their employees. Employers decide!
Insurance companies can impose maximum liabilities. Most people will not hit those levels as set pre-ACA. If maximums are hit, then those people qualify for the high-risk pool referenced in Part C. That protects employers, employees and insurers alike.
As much as most of us do not like new taxes, a simple single tax is better than the many sneak-a-taxes imbedded in the ACA. The High Risk pool would be funded by a small incremental "high risk" tax, just as we fund Social Security (a 12.4 percent payroll tax) and Medicare/Medicaid (a 2.9 percent payroll tax).
This is how we help those who can't help themselves, without destroying a system that was working fine for 92 percent of the time before Democrats ruined it.
Medicare, Medicaid and Military/VA remain unchanged. They all need reforming, but that needs to be a separate conversation.
Health insurance competition across state lines is a separate consideration, although that needs to happen too.
Health Savings Accounts will not be restricted but expanded. This will provide a health care emergency fund for people over time.
Alternative methods to pay for health care costs will not be restricted. These include cash or fee arrangements, or health sharing programs.
Health insurance companies will adapt quickly to survive. Under the current system, many insurers can’t afford to stay in markets, and many consumers can’t survive with what they’re being offered.
"Fair" is usually defined as what people can afford. Just as the food we eat, the house we live in, or the car we drive are based on what we can afford.
Since the above plan has many scenarios, everybody can afford something if they are able to work. Those that are disabled are covered by Part C, or by existing disability laws. Details are to be determined, but carping about details should not derail solving the problem of unaffordable health insurance.
"Rich and middle class" are defined as being able to purchase their own health insurance when given the opportunity to choose a worthwhile option. Constantly bashing the "rich" and threatening to make them pay more has never solved anything.
The ACA blew up the health care and health insurance building to fix an 8 percent leak in the roof. It's in splinters, and the ones suffering the most are not the politicians or the insurance companies. The ones suffering the most are the people, the doctors and the health care providers. The law makers cannot see the forest. They are lost in the trees.
Let's solve the right problem! Let's start over to rebuild the building!