Cut off your nose to spite your face.
Trying to have your cake and eat it too.
Kill the goose that laid the golden eggs.
Throwing gasoline on a fire.
Pick a cliché and go with it — any of these (and doubtless a lot more) are applicable to far-left efforts to take over the healthcare industry.
Healthcare is an industry with limited resources, infinite demands, and an endless supply of those who can’t aiming to boss around those who do.
So-called progressives who promise the wondrous dream of magically providing free healthcare to all care far less about the quality and quantity of medicine in America than they do about grabbing power for themselves.
Look at the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (colloquially Obamacare).
Its legacy is not conjuring a never-ending supply of perfect free medicine; its legacy of high-premium, high-deductible "care" is to insurance companies make record profits.
When President Trump assumed office, premiums had doubled in states using HealthCare.gov compared to the year before Obamacare took effect in 2013. In 2018, average premiums went up by yet another 26%.
Rather than improve upon Obamacare, so-called progressives see it as just a foot in the door to take absolute control of our healthcare system, which is it self a foot in the door to take absolute control of our whole economy.
And — scarily — they’ve been so good at dragging the Overton Window in that direction that they may have forced the president to go along with them.
President Trump is scheduled on Thursday to make some large-scale announcements about healthcare policy, with scuttlebutt indicated that he will demand price controls to stop "surprise medical bills."
Patients get hit with an SMB when they, for example, get an operation from an in-network surgeon but an unexpected, uncovered expense from an out-of-network anesthesiologist (hence surprise bill).
SMBs are gifts to insurance companies, since they don’t have to pay benefits, but they hurt patients, doctors, hospitals, and others.
But price controls aren’t the way to stop them — enacting price controls would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face, trying to have your cake and eat it to, etcetera etcetera.
The fight against price controls is one that’s drafted doctors, any rational-thinking economist, and even some sane Democrats. Formed explicitly for this purpose, the Coalition Against Rate-Setting (CARS) released an open letter this week to try to warn the president against going down this road, which points out that the problem comes from narrow health insurance networks.
The narrower the network, the more likely a patient will encounter a provider under whose care they aren’t covered. CARS states in its letter:
"Far-reaching pieces of legislation such as the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare; signed into law in 2010) have simply made the problem worse, and now, an estimated three-quarters of Obamacare plans feature narrow insurance networks."
So, efforts to have the government sink its claws into healthcare has (gasp) made healthcare worse.
Rate-setting makes providing healthcare an even more onerous task. It would lead to the widespread consolidation of hospitals and clinics, drive doctors out of business, and leave millions without access to any care at all — regardless of how "free" it’s promised to be.
The warning to the other 49 states, California tried this implemented price controls in 2017 with predictably disastrous effects, according to a 2019 study by the American Journal of Managed Care. Doctors and other providers are among those running out of California for greener pastures elsewhere.
Price controls — particularly during this time of pandemic — are something that, despite how tempting they sound, we simply cannot afford. If we squeeze healthcare into an industry that can no longer survive we’ll kill the goose that laid the golden eggs.
The president may be trying to outmaneuver Democrats, who along with their media allies, distract voters from the insanity of their policies with the promise of "free" healthcare.
A second-term Trump, with an unsupportive Congress flushed out of Washington, would have the flexibility to implement better strategies.
Given that this is the man who, pre-COVID, gave us the best economy we’d seen in 50 years, we can hope this is the case.
Jared Whitley is a long-time politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House, and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. Read Jared Whitley's reports — More Here.
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