Health

There is No ‘Fix’ for Obamacare

It's too far gone — the answer is freedom again for patients and their doctors

During the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton claimed she wants to “fix” Obamacare — but her words betrayed her.

Hillary said reining in costs is the “highest priority of the next president,” but she supported continuing the Obamacare mandates that have caused insurance premiums to skyrocket — such as mandating that insurers offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions but not permitting insurers to charge a price commensurate with the high costs of these patients.

[Trump] has no plans to “fix” Obamacare — and no one should.

Clinton also supported the Obamacare “benefit” of not charging women more than men, but this only means a man will be charged at the higher price of covering a woman. She also supported keeping children tethered to their parents’ insurance policies until age 26, which increases the cost of the parents’ insurance and allows parental intrusions into the private medical decisions of their adult children.

Donald Trump challenged Clinton: “Obamacare is a disaster. You know it. We all know it. It’s going up at numbers that nobody’s ever seen worldwide.” Following a market-based strategy, he said he plans to repeal Obamacare, end the insurance company monopolies that Obamacare has created, restore competition to drive down prices, and allow people to tailor their insurance policies to their own needs.

He has no plans to “fix” Obamacare, and no one should. For example, Congress and state Republican policymakers should refuse the dangerous idea of letting people use Obamacare subsidies outside the government exchange, as some have proposed. Once begun, these subsidies may never go away, driving federal control into what little is left of a private marketplace for health insurance.

Liberals use fear to push universal coverage, but coverage is not care. Ask any “covered” Canadian waiting 12 months to see a specialist.

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Liberals use fear to push universal coverage, but coverage is not care. Ask any “covered” Canadian waiting 12 months to see a specialist. True insurance — affordable indemnity policies against medical catastrophes — is prohibited under Obamacare for anyone over the age of 29. The only option for Americans is expensive “we-promise-you-everything-but-guarantee-you-nothing” policies offered by managed care corporations.

People are afraid. As deductibles skyrocket and prices for care rise, many people are more afraid of the cost of the procedure than the procedure itself. That’s just wrong.

There is a better way. Before Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and managed care — and all their regulations and contractual restrictions — doctors, hospitals, and patients worked freely together at prices that were cash-based and affordable. Patients bought care like they bought everything else in life — directly. And they and their doctors knew the prices.

Related: 7 Health Care Questions Worth Asking the Candidates

Americans will not lose their fears about health care or find affordability until we return to cash-based, transparent, direct contractual relationships between patients and doctors and true insurance policies for catastrophic events. And we will not fix what is wrong in health care today until we eliminate the costly, burdensome, and bureaucratic third-party controls of managed care and government-run health care.

We can make health care great again in America. Let’s “fix” Obamacare by repealing it and making a 180-degree turn back to freedom for patients and doctors.

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Twila Brase, R.N., named one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care,” is co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a national patient-centered health freedom organization in St. Paul, Minnesota, and of a patient-focused initiative called The Wedge of Health Freedom.

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