As you know, President Trump’s plan to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare failed yesterday. Although this is a diversion from our usual focus on The Controversy between evolution and creationism, it’s a good subject for the weekend.
We touched on the topic several years ago, in The Curmudgeon’s Health Care Reform Plan. That was a few months before ObamaCare became law. The ideas we presented there still make sense for reducing the cost of health care.
Now that Trump’s attempt has gone nowhere, it’s appropriate that we stir things up by giving you our Curmudgeonly view of the fiasco. We know that most of you won’t agree with us, but we’re used to that.
First, the “repeal” part of Trump’s plan makes sense — at least to us — because ObamaCare is a failure. Repealing it could have been done easily. The real problem was the “replace” part. It doesn’t surprise us that the Republicans in Congress couldn’t reach any agreement. To put it bluntly, there is no Republican way to replace ObamaCare with some other federal program. The free market is the answer.
There are several ways to make medical care less expensive. Apart from those in our earlier post, which still make sense, the government could also make health insurance more affordable by allowing an income tax credit — not a mere deduction, but a dollar-for-dollar credit — for health insurance premiums. Also, health insurance could be made more affordable by eliminating federal requirement that such insurance should cover pre-existing conditions. That’s not insurance, it’s welfare, and insurance companies shouldn’t be forced to provide it. States already have programs that deal with the medical needs of those who can’t afford it.
Trump’s failure is because his proposal wasn’t sufficiently Republican. He asked his party in Congress to create a national program that would somehow be better than the mess created by Democrats. That is absurd. Instead of “repeal and replace,” the Republicans should have worked on repeal and reform. There are plenty of ways to reduce medical costs — but constructing a gigantic national program isn’t one of them.
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