Look, I’m a “glass is half full” kind of guy. You have to be. I try to stay positive. I try to keep thinking maybe, maybe someday CONGRESS will remember the vision of our Founding Fathers … and that those we elect will represent us, not the special interests.
But Washington politicians are so far gone that the Constitution is not even an afterthought, and their master seems to be whatever industry funds them.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We just had an election about change, about draining the swamp. President Trump promised to be different, and I believe he sincerely wants to be. But he is being taken for a ride through the swamp right now on “Obamacare Lite.”
For four STRAIGHT elections, REPUBLICANS ran on repealing Obamacare, and now “Republican orthodoxy” — I’m told — is keeping insurance subsidies, mandates, taxes, and insurance company bailouts.
That’s not acceptable to me. And it isn’t keeping our promise.
Though I want to believe the glass is half full, I am tempted, very tempted, to smash a glass half full of Obamacare Lite — smash that glass to smithereens!
When did Republicans begin to believe that insurance companies should be put on the dole? That they should be bailed out when any of their customers become sick?
When did Republicans begin to believe that the federal government should force you to pay a penalty to a private insurance company if you can’t afford insurance?
When did Republicans begin to believe that we should levy a special tax penalty on those who choose to buy really good health insurance?
The current Ryan Plan — “Obamacare Lite” — is not about patients. It isn’t about better health care. It isn’t about lowering costs.
It is, plain and simple, about getting more money to the insurance companies and running more of your life from Washington.
I am a career physician. I spent years training and learning to be a doctor. I did it for patients. I don’t give a flip about guaranteeing the profits of insurance companies. And as a Senator, I shouldn’t, either.
But in Washington, somehow, the whole debate seems to be about getting people insurance instead of getting people health care.
Insurance doesn’t equate to health care. Just ask all the Obamacare recipients with $6,000 deductibles.
I’m sick of the insurance companies putting me on hold and telling me to talk to their representative in a foreign country. Screw that.
I’m sick of the government telling me I have to buy their crappy product, and I’m sick of watching us go into more and more debt to do it.
We need a new way, and Obamacare Lite isn’t it.
I want the consumer (aka patient) to be king. I want to empower the patient to get the health care they want at the price they want.
I want to let every American be able to join a co-op to buy their health care. When that happens, the buying power returns to the patients.
Instead of patients having to kiss the boots of insurance company executives, my plan would have insurance executives come on bended knee to the patient.
The patient would be king.
The patient, as part of a large buying group, would be able to negotiate lower prices and a policy where you can’t be dropped or ripped off if you become sick. The patient would be able to purchase exactly the type of coverage that suited her needs, without government mandates telling her what she must buy.
ObamaCare forced every American to purchase a policy that included Pediatric Dental, whether you had children under eighteen or not. Is that freedom of choice? Why should you have to pay for something you cannot use? Good for the insurance industry, but bad for patients.
As a physician and as a patient, I hate Obamacare. Obamacare jacked up insurance rates and created insurance monopolies.
But the answer is not replacing the government mandate with an insurance mandate, which is exactly what Obamacare Lite does.
I don’t feel any less manipulated by being forced to pay the insurance company a penalty instead of the government.
I want the patient to be king. If you want to disrupt the apple cart, if you want to take away the monopoly power of insurance companies, do one thing — allow every individual in America to join a co-op, to join a buying group, to join an association health plan.
The insurance CEOs hate the idea — which should be enough to tell you it might just empower the patient.
So if you hated Obamacare and don’t care much for Ryan’s Obamacare Lite, maybe you ought to consider telling them all to take a hike and give you the option of joining a co-op. Give you the option of buying across state lines. Give you the option of having a YUGE Health Savings Account so you can spend your money how you want. I challenge the media to compare the price of LASIK surgery, contact lenses, and orthodontics in the last twenty years — prices come down when patients make decisions about what they are buying.
While I am a “glass is half full” kind of guy, I also would love to give the middle finger to the man that profits off of government bailouts and forces his or her monopoly Brand of insurance schemes on an often worried and defenseless public.
Just say no to Obamacare, to Obamacare Lite, and to any scheme to enrich the insurance cartel.