Self Defense Politics – 1

Self Defense Politics – 1 – Health Care

Everyone knows the saying; figures don’t lie but liars figure. This is particularly apt in reviewing numbers supporting government decisions, estimated budget results and political claims of politicians or political parties.

I’m making the point of about the manipulation of numbers as I address the ACA failure. Conservatives
must get over their dislike of so called Obamacare because of their dislike of Obama and address the facts about the ACA. If we listen to the current administration we are told that the OMB claims substantial savings that have already occurred in premium costs to the consumer and the overall reduction of medical services. The increase costs in Medicaid and poor performance are attributed by the administration to some states failure to use federal funds offered under the ACA. The states that have opted out of short-term federal aid for Medicaid point to the accompanying additional cost responsibilities that come with the federal aid long-term as the reason for their failure to join this part of the ACA program.

We need to acquire the actual numbers for sample states Medicaid costs with the federal aid and without it long-term. The administration’s not so subtle goal to shift the cost of Medicaid services to the states is key to their offer of short-term aid and of course under the long-term commitments by the states they agree to adhere to the more stringent rules imposed by the federal government in regard to free services for the poor/immigrants.

The actual ACA program, is an insidious move to universal health care for the United States and must be fought out in the open. Conservative politicians must be willing to address the potential of giving up some “benefits” under the ACA for the good of the country’s economy and the continuing health care services. We only need to reference Greece to see that when you give “free” health services you quickly run out of money and whether it is this year or in the immediate future like Greece will can face bankruptcy.

What conservatives can offer is a return to medicine as practiced between a doctor and his/her patient. This is important and must be the focus of our message. Further we have some specifics we should consider as part of our health care plan for the future.

After considerable consideration I think we should implement the following plan;

The Prescription for Conservative Consumer-Focused Health ReformTable of Contents
The Problem of American Health Care …………………………………………………….. 3
Principle #1: Lowering Health Costs ………………………………………………………… 7 Tax Equity ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 State Health Insurance Program …………………………………………………………….8 Health Savings Accounts ………………………………………………………………………10 Greater Incentives for Wellness …………………………………………………………….11 Crack Down on Fraud ………………………………………………………………………….11 Price and Quality Transparency ……………………………………………………………12
Principle #2: Protect the Most Vulnerable ………………………………………………. 13 Guaranteed Access for Pre-Existing Conditions ……………………………………13 Premium Support …………………………………………………………………………………14 Medicaid Reforms ………………………………………………………………………………..17 Pro-Life Protections ……………………………………………………………………………..19
Principle #3: Portability and Choice ………………………………………………………. 20 State Reforms to Expand Access …………………………………………………………..20 Better Access for Individuals Changing Employers ………………………………21 Cross-State Insurance Purchasing ………………………………………………………..21 Pooling Mechanisms ……………………………………………………………………………22 Lawsuit Reform ……………………………………………………………………………………22 Freedom for Seniors to Choose ……………………………………………………………23
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The status quo of American health care and insurance is simply not defensible.
BThe Problem of American Health Care
y many measures, the American system the specialist can spend five minutes examining of health care is the best in the world. the lightbulb and telling you what new one you It is a source of incredible innovation need to buy. The specialist used to be in a small at the cutting edge of medical science, practice, but now he’s in a big group, because there
providing high quality care to people who need are all sorts of government regulations he has to
it. We have some of the best doctors, nurses, researchers, and provider systems on earth. When world leaders need complex surgery and lifesaving treatment, they fly to us. It is here, in America, where treatments are discovered, methods are improved, and diseases are cured.
But by all sorts of other measures, the American system of health care is the worst of both worlds— and that was true before Obamacare. For starters, it is extraordinarily expensive. This is partly because we aren’t interested in just managing pain, but in curing diseases; partly because market-warping government policies and regulations drive costs higher and incentivize monopolization over competition; partly because Americans have a limited choice of health insurance options; and partly because patients and providers are insulated from the true costs of health care services.
Imagine for a moment if other forms of insurance worked the same way as American health insurance does today. Say you arrive home one day and find that the lightbulb on your front porch has burned out. This happens every couple of months, and it’s predictable as clockwork—or a chronic condition. But because your homeowners insurance policy works like health insurance
does, you can’t just drive to a store and buy a lightbulb, oh no. Instead, you have to call and set up an appointment with a highly-paid and highly- educated expert lightbulb specialist.
You go in the waiting room wait for two hours so
deal with, and only big systems can afford to deal with them. He also has to overcharge your private insurer for this brief visit, because he spends a third of his time seeing people on government entitlement programs who dramatically underpay for his services.
The specialist gives you a nearly illegible prescription for a new lightbulb, but you can’t buy it just anywhere—your homeowners insurance has a network of stores, and going out of network means you’ll face penalties. You have to drive across town to an in-network hardware store, and then wait for someone to get the right lightbulb out of the back. You have no idea how much the lightbulb actually costs, or if it would be cheaper at the store ten minutes away—you just have a small co-pay for it, and the rest is covered by your insurer—or how much the specialist is paid to tell you which one to buy. And in a few months when the light burns out again, you’ll have to go through all of this all over again.
When you start to think about the American health insurance system in this context, you start to understand why things are so upside down when it comes to the costs of care. At each stage, everyone is insulated from costs, and most people have no incentive to shop and compare prices and services as they do in every other market. And government policies and sweeping regulations have only served to make it worse.
Health care represents one of the most complex arenas of public policy. It was an animating interest for me from a young age, in part because it is an area that touches every American during the course of their lives in profound ways. I worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human
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Services, the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. During my lifetime, many attempts have been made to try and fix the broken aspects of our system, some more successful than others. President Obama’s health care law is just the latest in a long line of wrongheaded steps—but it is by far the worst yet.
As someone who believes in empowering patients and using market forces to improve American health care, I oppose President Obama’s law and believe we must repeal all of it—no matter what the conventional wisdom in Washington says. But we must also enact positive reforms to move our health system in the right direction, because the status quo of American health care and insurance is simply not defensible.
What the President said in the course of selling his signature legislation actually sounded good to me— it’s what he did that was awful. The President sold his law as a path to lower premium costs, promising that he’d cut them by $2,500 by the end of his first term. He said he wanted people to be able to keep their health plans and their doctors if they liked them. He said he wanted to bend the cost trajectory down while improving quality. I’m for all of that— but unfortunately that’s not what his law does. At best the President was horribly naïve about how
our health care system works, and how to reform it. At worst he was deliberately untrue, and sold his government-centric plan as a “conservative” proposal because he knew the American people would never accept the truth.
We want to make sure that people have access to affordable high quality health care. We want to create a solid safety net for the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick. This is, according to President Obama, what he wants, too. But from my perspective, he never stepped back and really looked at what’s wrong with our system, and asked what we want it to look like if we can tear down the existing market-warping problems and start afresh.
A
merica needs a health care system where it is
easy for the consumer to be in control, and
where government won’t get in between you and your doctor. Sometimes on the right we’re blind to the fact that health care bureaucracy isn’t just Medicare and Medicaid personnel—it also could be a big insurance bureaucrat, and they’re little better. At each point, this system of bureaucracy, monopolization, and the lack of price transparency serves to drive costs higher and higher for all of us. The most fundamental question in health care policy is: do you want the patient to be in control, working with his or her own doctor and health care provider, or do you want a bureaucrat—whether from the government or your insurer—to be in control?
The left has its answer to this question: empowering government. Instead, we should be empowering patients. How should we go about doing that? Well, there are several things that have to change, steps that will push health care in this country toward being a true competitive marketplace, and which make providers understand once again that the individual patient is their customer.
Big changes never happen organically in Washington, and many of the big stakeholders were heavily invested in Obamacare just a few years ago. But as President Obama’s monopartisan
The most fundamental question in health care policy is: do you want the patient to be in control, working with his or her own doctor and health care provider, or do you want a bureaucrat—whether from the government or your insurer—to be in control?
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Obamacare By The Numbers
$2,100 per family increase
in premiums on the individual market (CBO, 11/30/2009)
At least 4.7 million Americans losing their health plans (Associated Press, 12/26/2013)
More than $2 trillion in new spending (CBO, 2/2014)
Increasing taxes by over
$1 trillion (CBO, 7/4/2012) 47 new IRS provisions to
implement (GAO, 6/11)
2.3 million fewer workers in the American workforce (CBO, 2/4/14)
Employers reducing hours and eliminating jobs (Investor’s Business Daily, 2/3/14)
Rather than making health care more affordable for all Americans, Obamacare gave America a law it can’t afford to keep.
program has stumbled, it presents the opportunity for conservatives to make the case for real reform. It is now obvious to everyone that his plan simply won’t deliver on the many promises he made along the way. And that’s because, from the beginning, his approach was wrongheaded. He trusted the government to fix the problems and get everything right, instead of trusting the American people to know what’s best. We shouldn’t make that mistake twice.
A ConserVATiVe ALTernATiVe
In the debate surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare, conservatives have consistently faced one myth, perpetuated by President Obama himself and his political allies: That there is no alternative to Obamacare, and that opponents of the law have offered no solutions on health care themselves.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In November 2009, House Republicans offered their alternative to Obamacare during a debate on the House floor; not a single Democrat voted for the legislation.1 One more recent compilation lists more than 200 pieces of health care legislation offered by conservative Members of Congress
in 2013 alone.2 Conservatives have consistently proposed alternatives to Obamacare, and publicly advocated on their behalf, yet the President finds it easier to peddle untruths than to engage the
1. Vote on Boehner Substitute Amendment to H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act, House Roll Call Vote 885, 111th Congress, November 7, 2009, http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll885.xml. 2. “Republican Study Committee Policy Brief: Members’ Health Care Initia- tives in the 113th Congress,” November 25, 2013, http://rsc.scalise.house.gov/
American people on why his unpopular law is “better” than alternative reforms.
One reason President Obama fails to recognize conservative alternatives to Obamacare lies in a fundamental dispute about the root problems plaguing the American health care system. Conservatives believe that the best way to improve access to health insurance coverage is to make that coverage more affordable. Many conservatives may agree with then-Senator Obama, who stated during his 2008 presidential campaign: “I believe the problem is not that folks are trying to avoid getting health care. The problem is they can’t afford it.”3
uploadedfiles/113th_112513_rsc_healthcare_menu.pdf. 3. Remarks in Democratic presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Congres- sional Black Caucus Institute, January 21, 2008, http://www.cnn.com/2008/ POLITICS/01/21/debate.transcript2/index.html.
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Candidate Obama may have talked like a conservative in his rhetoric highlighting health costs and opposing mandates, but President Obama has governed as a liberal. Instead of tackling the root of the health care problem, and lowering costs first, Obamacare focused on spending trillions of dollars to expand health coverage, creating massive new entitlements in the process. Rather than making health care more affordable for all Americans, Obamacare gave America a law it can’t afford to keep. The law is fiscally unsustainable, its tax increases economically damaging, and its enshrinement of greater government control of every aspect of health care is more dangerous than some in Washington appreciate.
For these reasons and more, any conservative health reform must start with repealing Obamacare. But conservative health reform must
not end there. Even prior to Obamacare, the status quo was, and remains, unacceptable. Many Americans struggle every day with the high cost of health care, and Americans with pre-existing conditions cannot access the care they need. America’s health care system does need reforms— but it needs the right reforms.
The policy solutions put forward by America Next in this paper focus on preserving what’s right with American health care, while fixing what’s wrong. Fixing what’s wrong involves restoring one basic American principle—freedom—that has been eroded due to Obamacare. While it is wise for any individual to have health insurance coverage, Washington cannot—and should not—attempt to compel such behavior.

It is of course Bobby Jinal’s health care answer for conservatives in the 2016 Presidential election

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