Chris Vance: A Better Alternative for Health Care Reform
A Better Alternative for Health Care Reform
Republicans and Democrats need to come together and negotiate a better alternative for health care than the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
We have the greatest health care system in the world, if you have insurance. Our private sector run system produces unmatched quality and responsiveness. The problem is, some Americans are too young for Medicare, too well off for Medicaid or other government programs, but don’t have access to insurance through work and can’t afford to buy good insurance. We need a system that helps those Americans, without disrupting the health care coverage for Americans who are – or were – happy with the coverage they had!
And that’s the problem with the ACA. The federal government is now regulating every aspect of our health insurance system, creating a once size fits all, top down approach. The Affordable Care Act has provided insurance for many Americans who lacked coverage, but for other Americans it isn’t working.
Premiums are rising, and millions of Americans have lost the coverage they had. This problem will dramatically increase once the employer mandate and the “cadillac tax “on employers kick in. Together, they will encourage businesses to drop or dramatically change the health insurance they offer employees today.
We can do better. These are the elements I believe should be part of a bipartisan health care agreement:
- We must be absolutely committed to the principle that all Americans must have access to health insurance that is affordable and works for them.
- We should repeal the employer mandate, the cadillac tax, and all the mandates, limits, and controls on private sector health insurance, other than to ensure that plans are actuarially sound. Let employers work with insurance companies to design plans that work for their individual organizations. Let insurance companies design products that fit the needs of individual consumers. And let consumers shop across state lines to find the best plan for them. If we get government out of the way, prices will come down for most Americans!
- At the same time we must recognize that when it comes to health care, the private sector doesn’t work for everyone. There must be a federal, publicly subsidized option for those the private sector leaves behind, such as those with pre-existing conditions, those who’s employer provided plan is inadequate, and especially those too well off for Medicaid, but who can’t afford private insurance.
- One obvious answer is to leave in place some of the revenue streams created by the ACA, and use them to expand the Federal Basic Health Plan, a program passed by Senator Maria Cantwell. Based on the Washington State Basic Health Plan, the Basic Health Plan allows people to pay a premium based on their income to purchase private sector plans with a partial government subsidy. Through this system, Americans should be allowed to purchase complete plans, or plans to supplement what their employer offers.
We can target help to those who need it while truly allowing those who like their current coverage to keep it.
This content was taken from http://chrisvanceforsenate.com/issues/ on September 9th upon the announcement of Chris Vance as a candidate for the Republican nomination for US Senate against Patty Murray. All emphasis is taken from the original and belongs to the author.