Government involvement has created the healthcare mess we have today, and the answer to the healthcare crisis is not more government and socialized medicine, but rather freedom of choice and universality, the same factors that drive down prices and create equilibrium in most consumer markets in America.
The answer to America’s healthcare problem doesn’t lie in further socializing the medical system, but returning to a system that allows more competition to drive down prices and offer consumers greater choice.
If there is one factor that drives price regulation – its competition within an industry. Pricing on Internet service, smartphones and phone plans have all continually dropped due to increased competition in the market.
However, healthcare costs continue to rise and it is largely because the government has mandated certain prices, as well as, created subsidies.
Further, employees who share their healthcare costs with employers, rarely have a choice in the type of plan they pay into.
Approximately 159 million Americans get insurance through their employer. Not only do working Americans pay for plans they did not choose with their own money, they often do not have a clear idea how much is being taken out of their pay to pay for their health benefits.
Further, it is hard for them to take their insurance with them should they leave that employer. And all the while, the cost of employer-sponsored insurance is increasing much faster than other health insurance programs in the US.
The Trump administration is in the process finalizing a new rule that would enable greater competition by allowing employers to fund tax-advantaged Health Reimbursement Accounts that workers can use to buy the coverage they want on the open market.
Not only can this reduce the cost of healthcare by encouraging price competition, but it would also allow employees to have control over their own insurance plans. Further, it would allow employees to take their insurance with them should they leave their job.
Many employees stick with a job they are unhappy in simply because of fear of losing their insurance.
Some 38 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare and 62 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid. Additionally, 7 million are enrolled in the children’s health insurance program (CHIP) and 9 million Americans are enrolled in the veterans health administration (VHA).
Roughly 12 million Americans are enrolled in Obamacare. In total, the number of Americans enrolled in government subsidized healthcare programs are roughly 115 million, approximately one-third of the population.
The system the US government has established for subsidizing healthcare has a gaping flaw that has left millions of Americans uninsured.
One of the most important things to understand about how America’s healthcare system is that it is already partially socialized. It’s important to understand that every American who has health insurance receives a federal subsidy of some type.
The very poorest Americans get subsidized coverage through Medicaid. The disabled are subsidized through Medicaid and Medicare. Those with employer-based coverage are subsidized through the tax code, however, those who benefit most through that subsidy are wealthy bankers and law-firm partners.
However, there is one group of 25 million legal and employed Americans who are being treated unfairly through the system – the working poor. This group of Americans falls between the subsidy cracks. Healthcare coverage is far too expensive for this group to afford, yet they make too much money to receive any subsidies.
A war is brewing that is marching America towards socialized medicine. The truth is, much of America’s healthcare system is already socialized.
While many believe Obamacare started America on the road to socialized medicine, it actually began under President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1965 with the Social Security Act amendments of 1965 and the creation of Medicare and Medicaid.