HealthZette

Voters Saw Skyrocketing Health Prices — and Said ‘No’

Repealing and replacing Obamacare will allow the free market, with fixes in quality and cost, to work

With a Trump win and Republican control now of both the House and Senate, there is a reasonable chance for the repeal of Obamacare.

If President-Elect Donald Trump holds true to his word, we will see both a swift repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a new health care system that better reflects a free-market system (including price transparency) — and one that essentially puts all Americans in the same situation. Among the solutions are high-deductible insurance plans with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and with tax fairness for all.

Voters surely wondered, “If my premiums are going up 50 percent and my deductible is up $1,000 for 2017, what’s going to happen in 2018 and 2019?”

Even Medicare and Medicaid could function like high-deductible plans with HSAs. This will allow access to health care for every American regardless of the ability to pay, and still give everyone the incentive and the means to be good monetary stewards of their own health care dollars.

If Trump’s plan comes to fruition, competition will increase, prices will come down, and quality will improve — with greater access for all.

This election almost certainly represented a repudiation of many of the programs of the last eight years. The ACA was one of them. Many voters had already been wondering, right before the election, “If my premiums are going up 50 percent and my deductible is up $1,000 for 2017, what’s going to happen in 2018 and 2019?”

The Obama administration can only spin so much when average people are seeing their expendable income vanish every month.

Related: It’s Not Too Soon to Start Overhauling Obamacare

Was Obamacare the straw that broke the Clinton candidacy?

Quite possibly. Of course, in a close election, any number of factors can explain a victory, but the release of premium increases on Nov. 1 and the drumbeat of worsening news on Obamacare had to play a part in this election’s results.

If voters wanted to continue down the road of government domination of their health care, Hillary Clinton was their pick. On the other hand, if voters wanted to give a chance for free-market reforms to work in health care, Trump is the one. The free market has delivered unprecedented gains in quality, cost, and prosperity throughout the history of the American experiment.

Voters may have decided to unleash the free market to do the same for health care.

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The election of 2016 will go down as the point at which Americans turned away from complete government control over health care, with an eye toward free-market reforms.

Americans were introduced to the heavy hand of government-controlled health care. They looked over the abyss into socialized medicine — and they pulled back.

Gerard Gianoli, M.D., is a neuro-otologist at the Ear and Balance Institute in Covington, Louisiana, and is a clinical associate professor at Tulane University School of Medicine.