Slowly But Surely :Trump Is Quietly Reforming Healthcare
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE
Since congress did not want to help President Trump repeal Obamacare and fix the healthcare system, he decided to quietly repair the healthcare system by himself. He has no choice. Obamacare will self-implode and disappear.
President Trump has kept his steps toward healthcare reform under the radar. It is all published and there for everyone to see.
President Trump is hoping that after the 2020 election he will have a friendlier congress. A congress that wants to do something to help him help American consumers of healthcare obtain affordable healthcare.
Consumers need relief from the Obamacare disaster. Obamacare has caused increased dysfunction on top of an already dysfunctional healthcare system.
Obamacare has caused a previously unaffordable healthcare system to become more unaffordable.
I hate to say it. I predicted Obamacare would fail in 2010. Basically Obamacare did not align stakeholders’ incentives.
I explained why Obamacare was failing in each subsequent year of its passage.
I also offered my concept of repair of the healthcare system with my ideal medical savings accounts.
President Trump has taken important steps to repair the healthcare system. He has brought back the power of “Associations.” Associations now have the ability to negotiate with healthcare insurance companies and sell healthcare insurance to its members.
In addition, Associations now have the ability to offer its members healthcare insurance at pre-tax dollars. This is a very big deal. Previously individuals seeking individual insurance had to pay for that healthcare insurance with post-tax dollars.
Instantly, healthcare premiums are effectively reduced to consumers by 20-40% using pre-tax dollars. This make present premiums more affordable.
Associations are growing very rapidly as final rules are being created to make their healthcare insurance available. The significance of Associations has been largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Associations will create competitiveness among healthcare insurers and help individuals, small business and even giant corporations eliminate the need to negotiate and provide healthcare insurance to their employees. It might even help the government’s unsustainable programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the VA rid itself of these unsustainable programs.
The traditional mainstream media has been busy publicizing the socialist concept of “Medicare for All.”
I have pointed out that “Medicare for All” doesn’t work. It has never worked in a financially sustainable way for many countries. In countries that have socialized medicine consumers are dissatisfied because there are long waiting times and a shortage of the access to medical and surgical care.
Our leftist politicians say socialist medicine has worked beautifully in countries like Sweden, Denmark, Canada, and England to name a few.
I have published the difficulties consumers have had in these socialized medicine countries.
Unfortunately, our leftist politicians are either ignoring the truth or do not know what they are talking about. The traditional mainstream media are simply acting as puppets for our leftist Democratic politicians who want to control the healthcare system.
Everyone knows the larger the bureaucracy the more inefficient the system. The VA healthcare system is a perfect example of this statement.
“Last week, the executive order was initiated that will empower consumers in the individual healthcare insurance market and those consumers in the small corporations to purchase healthcare insurance through associations. It will allow the employers in small corporations to pay for their employees the healthcare insurance through the Associations with pre-tax dollars.”
“It will level the playing field to enable individuals in both groups to negotiate healthcare insurance premium prices through their associations with the same purchasing power that large corporations have.”
It could also work for consumers working for large corporations. Those employees who are displeased with their corporate provided healthcare insurance coverage can change to association provided insurance.
The new rules can potentially get employers out of the healthcare insurance providing business.
These new regulation has had little coverage in the New York Times, network television or any other mainstream media.
The traditional main stream media have been pushing the Democratic Socialists’ idea of “Medicare for All.” “Medicare for All” cannot work.
“On Thursday June 20th 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a final regulation that allows businesses to fund employees who buy health insurance on the individual market–something that until now has been illegal.”
“The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury issued a new policy that will provide hundreds of thousands of employers, including small businesses, a better way to provide health insurance coverage, and millions of American workers more options for health insurance coverage.”
Since this new policy is a President Trump initiative, the elites in the media must have concluded that is a silly policy and it cannot work.
“ The Departments issued a final regulation that will expand the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). When employers have fully adjusted to the rule, it is estimated this expansion of HRAs will benefit approximately 800,000 employers, including small businesses, and more than 11 million employees and family members, including an estimated 800,000 Americans who were previously uninsured.”
A close study of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (Associations) will make it clear that these numbers are correct. In fact, these estimates might be a gross underestimation of increased number of consumers with healthcare coverage.“Under the rule, starting in January 2020, employers will be able to use what are referred to as individual coverage HRAs to provide their workers with tax-preferred funds to pay for the cost of health insurance coverage that workers purchase in the individual market, subject to certain conditions. … Individual coverage HRAs are designed to give working Americans and their families greater control over their healthcare by providing an additional way for employers to finance health insurance.”
Associations allow everyone to be participants in the large corporation negotiating healthcare market. It allows consumers to avoid the trap of large, bureaucratic and by definition inefficient government control healthcare.
“The HRA rule also increases workers’ choice of coverage, increases the portability of coverage, and will generally improve worker economic well-being. This rule will also allow workers to shop for plans in the individual market and select coverage that best meets their needs. … [T]he final rule should spur a more competitive individual market that drives health insurers to deliver better coverage options to consumers.”
The new policy empowers individual consumers to shop the market and select the healthcare coverage that best meets the needs of their family.
The insurance industry will not have to comply with the burdens of Obamacare’s regulations for healthcare coverage. They can create new products including medical savings accounts without restriction.
This will create an extremely competitive healthcare insurance environment.
“This is a good example of how the Trump administration is moving forward in practical ways on important issues, empowering consumers and freeing up markets. The Democrats don’t like it, of course. But the new HRA system will be popular with millions of Americans whose ability to access the individual market and exercise consumer choice will be enhanced.”
The only big barrier is that it will make consumers become responsible for choosing their healthcare coverage and be responsible for their healthcare dollars.
I believe most Americans are up for the challenge.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.
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