Rik Schneider Online

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"What Are Some Smarter Ways to Pay for Health Care?": Put the people in charge of their Healthcare



The 2010 Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Represents a good first step in Healthcare Reform, mainly because of the Patients Bill of Rights in it. Stopping Health Insurers from laying people off because they get sick and need their Health Insurance, ending Lifetime Caps. Things like that are all excellent first steps in Healthcare Reform, as well as the Tax Credit for people who can't afford their own Health Insurance. Make too much money to be on Medicaid and aren't old enough to receive Medicare yet. The AFA did nothing to reform Medicaid and Medicare, except to make millions of more people eligible for Medicaid. But without a way to pay for it, which will be something unless fixed. That the States who are already strapped will get stuck paying the bill. It does close the Doughnut Hole in Medicare that was created by the 2003 Medicare Drug Benefit. But does nothing to fix the financing of both Medicaid and Medicare. Which are both fixable problems to fix but the solutions to fixing them aren't popular. And that may be why the President and Congress didn't fix those critical programs. And perhaps intentionally realizing that the AFA is simply a first step in Healthcare Reform. And the first step was about expanding Health Insurance for people who can't afford it. And regulating the Health Insurance Industry to stop the abuses in it.

Step two in Healthcare Reform in America should be about expanding Competition and Choice in Healthcare and Health Insurance. Freedom of Choice, Consumer Choice and fixing the financing of Medicaid and Medicare. One thing that I was in favor in Healthcare Reform in 2009-10, that we didn't get. Thanks to Senate Republicans and Conservative Democrats was a Public Option. But this is how I would set up and no not create another Federal Entitlement Program. My Public Option would look similar to what the House of Representatives passed in November 2009. Where they would create an Independent Semi Private Non Profit Health Insurer, that would be financed by its customers. But I would take it a step farther and have the States create their own Public Option and set up their own Healthcare System. That they would regulate that would have to meet basic Federal Standards. But again each Public Option would again be Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed paid for by its customers. And this is where the Freedom of Choice comes in, let the people who consume Healthcare. Decide for themselves how do they pay for it, Health Savings Account, their current Health Insurer, another Private Insurer. Or they could go with the Public Option in their own State, basic competition would bring down our Health Costs.

AFA overall positive and is something I believe President Obama should run on in his reelection. Which I expect and hope he'll get reelected, but he'll acknowledge that even though AFA. Will be part of his Presidential Legacy but it can't be that last step in Healthcare Reform which I believe he would also acknowledge. If we want to get our Healthcare Cost down to a more manageable level of around 10-12%. And to do that we need a lot more reform in our Healthcare System and reforming our Entitlement Programs. To fully fix our Healthcare System.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video from AEI on the Affordable Care Act