Now that House and Senate Republicans have released health care bills, I have come to one conclusion: the GOP is in need of major help writing a health care bill. They never seem to get it right, and they always fall short of making these bills conservative. Consequently, I have created a guideline that highlights the problems within the Senate and House bills, and how they can be fixed.
Problem #1: Both House and Senate bills continue spending and subsidizing for poor people and states. Although it sounds moral to give the poor tax credits for health care, it will only hurt them in the long run. The moment insurers realize that the poor now have money to spend, they will raise prices to meet the overflow of demand. Eventually, health insurance will only become more expensive and the problem will be akin to rising college tuition rates. The worst part is that politicians have no sense of economics. To alleviate this problem, they will likely raise tax credits in turn making insurance more expensive.
In addition, the GOP bills plan to give money to states to help their own constituents. The problem here is that although the bills say spending will be phased out, the states will claim that they need the money to help people down the line. It will be difficult if not impossible to remove government from the health care business once the intervention is underway.
Solution: For the health insurance market to be free, all spending must stop. Furthermore, politicians must recognize that America is a country, not a charity organization. If they really want to help those in need, all spending for Medicare and Medicaid should be stopped and sent to the poor as a one-time tax credit. That way, it will now be up to the individual to be responsible and get the proper health insurance needed, and insurers will have to compete because the money will be given only one-time. Although government intervention is still taking place, the system would function more like a market.
Problem #2: While the Senate bill does a good job of eliminating the individual mandate to buy health insurance, the House bill does not. That bill requires individuals to buy insurance within two months or suffer a penalty. This policy idea is just absurd and anti-American; since when does government get to decide what you need and when you have to buy it? The fact that the government plays such a huge role in this bill already has conservatives opposing it.
Solution: Treat health insurance like a commodity. It is not up to anyone but the individual to decide what to buy. The House Republicans must get rid of the individual mandate and end all the current tax penalties associated with not buying health care.
Problem #3: If my house is on fire and I choose buy insurance, it is no longer insurance. This is the same scenario for pre-existing conditions, except the GOP bills now allow states to make their own requirements for insurers. This is just more government in disguise because state governments would decide how insurers run their businesses. It is not likely they would do any better than Congress. The only key difference from Obamacare is that there isn’t a universal regulation requiring insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions. Nevertheless, there is nothing stopping states like California from imposing Draconian regulations on insurers.
Solution: Don’t give states power, give insurers power. Allow the insurers to cover who they want, and let the free market work. It may make liberals squirm, but too bad. Even if some insurers don’t cover the sick, reputation alone will harm those insurers in the marketplace and people will flock to insurers that do cover the sick.
Overall, the GOP has to do anything they can to give the people power, rather than government. The two bills they have written continue to produce spending and don’t do anything to deregulate the health market. Hopefully, the next health care bill will be written by principled conservatives who wish to limit government and empower the individual.