President Trump made a surprising announcement at his Nashville rally this week. He stated that the Secretary of Labor was going to announce a new Administration healthcare proposal. Apparently this has been done under the radar because I (as well as many others) was caught off guard. Healthcare is not a top priority for most of the Republican base but is a top concern with the Democratic base. The President has remarkable insight into the average American. Trump won much of the working class vote because of his ability to address basic issues. National security and immigration are important, especially to the Republican base, but an aging American population sees healthcare as a more pressing need. Good health is crucial to each of us yet most have come to the realization that Obamacare was not the answer. The extreme Left wing of the Democratic Party prefer the idea of socialized medicine with everyone covered under a single (government) payer. Our current insurance-based system is not perfect, but looking at other nations who have imposed the single-payer concept reveals the inefficiency and costliness of such a plan. Obamacare was a disaster because it forced people to buy coverage for things they would never need. When it comes to purchasing insurance for your car or home you select only the coverage you feel necessary for your situation. For instance a young, healthy individual may wish to choose catastrophic coverage only. Because Obamacare plans were so comprehensive premiums had to rise commensurately. These plans were only affordable through large government subsidies. Many healthy individuals, not qualifying for subsidies found it more cost-effective to pay government imposed fines than higher insurance premiums.
I don’t know what the President and his representatives have devised but some of my own suggestions would include: 1) cafeteria-style pick and choose insurance options, 2) group (co-op) purchasing of insurance and prescription plans, 3) cross state purchasing of cheaper plans if available in another state, and 4) expanded use of health savings plans (HSAs). Like many of my liberal friends I believe Americans have a right to quality, affordable healthcare. As with other freedoms (speech/bear arms) however it carries certain responsibilities. Many Americans don’t follow simple lifestyle choices that would lead to good health. Smoking, obesity and inactivity are the big three of health risks. Many people skip simple screening exams and immunizations that would obviate the need for more medical care in the future. HSAs are a financial incentive to stay healthy. Insurance premiums based on patient use could also serve as an incentive to a healthier lifestyle. Healthcare is complicated and personal; the one obvious fact is that there are no simple solutions.