Last week a Texas Federal judge ruled that the ACA of 2010 (aka Obamacare) was unconstitutional. Judge Reed O’Connor issued a 55-page ruling and based his ruling on the fact that the Tax Reform Act of 2017 eliminated the individual mandate, the keystone of Obamacare. Chuck Schumer and the Dems predictably howled and accused the Republicans once again of trying to remove health care from millions of Americans. Past rulings by liberal courts have defended the ACA and its mandate. The latest ruling insures that the ACA is headed for the Supreme Court. The Democrats have used the healthcare issue as their only issue to present to the voters. This latest ruling will change nothing until a final ruling has been made in the Supreme Court. Presenting themselves as the party of healthcare likely won the House for the Dems in the 2018 Congressional elections. The Dems have attempted to portray the Republicans as wanting to remove “pre-existing conditions” when insurers are issuing health insurance policies. It is a fact that those who have major health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension or diabetes will place greater demand on healthcare services than someone without such “pre-existing” conditions. Everyone should have access to healthcare insurance, however premiums will necessarily be based on anticipated usage. If you are buying auto insurance and have a perfect driving record, would you expect to pay the same for insurance as someone who has had multiple accidents or DUIs? As with auto insurance, patients may have to settle for a high deductible, but everyone should be guaranteed catastrophic coverage at a reasonable cost. As someone who has worked in the healthcare field for over 40 yrs and been a patient on numerous occasions, medical costs can quickly bankrupt the wealthiest of Americas.
I find many similarities in purchasing auto insurance and health insurance. An auto insurance agent asks such questions as: how many vehicles do you have (and how new), how many miles do you drive, what kind of coverage do you want? Obamacare forced everyone to purchase coverage for virtually every eventuality. A single male or a nun doesn’t require maternity coverage. It was also wrong to mandate that everyone sign up for these expensive policies or pay a fine. Many people found it more economical to simply pay the fine. We should be able to buy health insurance like auto insurance, picking the coverage we need and can afford. Allowing small businesses to form groups and purchase insurance in volume will lower cost for its employees. Permitting individuals and groups to purchase insurance across state lines will increase competition among insurers. Transparency in pricing both among insurers and healthcare providers will make it more affordable for everyone.