Empower People to Reform Healthcare

Friday, 10 Jan 2014 09:39 AM

By Scott Rasmussen

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Before President Barack Obama's healthcare law was passed, Americans were frustrated that insurance companies had too much control over the medical care they received. Now, Americans are frustrated that the government has too much control.
The vast majority of Americans don't want insurance companies and government making health-related decisions for them; they want to make such decisions for themselves. Three straightforward but significant modifications to the healthcare law could make that possible.
First, relax the individual mandate so that everyone who buys major medical insurance coverage is exempt. Obama has already allowed this for those who lost their insurance because of his law, but the exemption should be available to all.
Second, provide transparency in pricing. When people are selecting their insurance, they should be able to see how much a major medical plan would cost, as well as each additional bit of coverage. It is impossible to have a serious discussion about the cost of care without letting people know what these costs are.
Third, put workers in charge of their own insurance decisions. If an employer offers a comprehensive plan to its employees, workers should be able to drop the coverage they don't want and keep the change. This should be structured so there is no tax penalty for those who take fewer benefits. With the transparency of knowing what various levels of coverage cost, workers could make informed choices about the appropriate trade-offs between medical insurance and take-home pay.
That's it. These three changes would empower mainstream Americans, because we have more power when acting as consumers than we do as voters. It would force insurance companies to compete for our business and offer options that make sense. Such competition would reduce the cost of care. At the end of the day, it would mean less money going to insurance companies, and more money being available for the basic necessities of life.
It would also reduce the bureaucracy and red tape that makes the medical care industry so unfriendly to consumers. Service would become friendlier and more convenient. Doctors could focus on serving patients rather than insurance companies and government regulators.
These three steps would be popular with voters and give them control over their own medical care decisions. But it won't end the ongoing effort to improve the health and medical care of the American people. For example, the question of what subsidies are appropriate for lower-income Americans, and how to pay for them, will remain a topic of debate. But with the overall costs of care going down, it would be an easier problem to solve.
Additionally, some states might put their own minimum coverage requirements into effect. California, for example, might stick to the current requirements, while Texas might not add any additional hurdles for consumers. States might also take different approaches to buying insurance across state lines.
As long as consumers are in charge, it's OK. The experimentation and differing state laws would help us see what types of reforms really make sense. States whose regulations are too heavy or too light will lose businesses and residents. Those with the best policies will benefit.
When it comes to medical care, it's wrong to put the insurance companies in charge. It's wrong to put the federal government in charge. True reform means giving power to the people.
Scott Rasmussen is founder and former president of Rasmussen Reports. He is the author of “Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System,” “In Search of Self-Governance,” and “The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt.” Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.

© Creators Syndicate Inc.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

The Time Is Right for GOP 2016

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 09:14 AM

The last time a Republican president entered office with a reasonable assurance that his party would control both houses . . .

Change Government Behavior to Restore Trust

Friday, 12 Dec 2014 09:16 AM

Conservatives and liberals may disagree on which agencies they distrust the most, but the problem is widespread. The onl . . .

Turn Ferguson Tragedy Into Change

Friday, 05 Dec 2014 12:00 PM

Making a greater effort to see what really happened and combining different viewpoints will lead to a healthier politica . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved