John Goodman writes: Many people lost the insurance they were promised they could keep. Many lost access to the doctor they were promised they could continue to see. Premiums have doubled. Deductibles have tripled. Provider networks are so narrow, people with serious health problems are routinely denied access to the best doctors and the best hospitals.
One of the strange features of the national health care conversation is how it has evolved. What is often referred to as Obamacare began as an attempt to insure the uninsured. In fact, the initial Congressional Budget Office estimates predicted the Affordable Care Act would be largely successful in doing just that. Yet it was the Senate’s Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, who identified the political problem with that goal early on. About 95% of those who vote already have insurance, Schumer noted. So Obamacare was promising to spend a great deal of money on people who don’t vote.
Critics of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis characterize it as knee-jerk, spur-of-the-moment, and grasping at any straw within reach. In fact, many of the executive actions we have seen in the past few days reflect a new approach to health policy that has been underway almost since the day Donald Trump was sworn into office.
When people think about drug pricing in the United States, they tend to think of the sky-high prices of some newer drugs. High prices do cause real problems. Some people in need may go without. People may also go without needed drugs because prices are too low.
Larry Wedekind writes: The treatment of choice, almost everywhere, is called Medication Assisted Treatment (M.A.T.) and it involves substitute drugs. It has an 80% failure rate. There is a treatment that involves microcurrent neurofeedback and a recovery support team. It costs one-fifth as much and has a high probability of success. What the Trump administration can do: create CPT (payment) codes for this new method of treatment. What Congress can do: reform the Obamacare exchanges.
President Donald Trump says he wants health reform that will be better than Obamacare, better than what we had before Obamacare, and better than the Democrats’ Medicare for All. And he’s not alone. Numerous surveys show that health reform remains a top priority for Americans, who are concerned about high costs, access, and choice.
She proposes to abolish the ObamaCare exchanges—a signature Democratic accomplishment—and enroll participants in something resembling Medicare Advantage, a program expanded during the George W. Bush administration. That’s better than anything Ms. Harris’s Democratic rivals have proposed. It’s also better than many Republican reform ideas.
The plan was prepared for the Trump administration by John C. Goodman (father of Health Savings Accounts) and Marie Fishpaw (Heritage Foundation) and published by National Review Online. The plan features such patient friendly ideas as portable health insurance and doctor consultations by means of phone, email and Skype.
Health Savings Account plans are the fastest growing product in the health insurance marketplace. At last count, 25 million Americans were covered by an HSA plan and the account balances totaled $50 billion. That’s on a par with the gross domestic product of the entire state of Alaska. It’s more than the GDP of South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming or Vermont.
This article was coauthored by Linda Gorman, director of health care at the Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado.