Armstrong Williams op-ed: Trump knows not to confuse 'healthcare' with 'health insurance'
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Since being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, Trump has worked hard to deliver on the many campaign promises he made to the American people. And despite Democrats, and even some Republicans, challenging him at every corner, he has pushed forward to implement the people’s agenda.

Business owners like me know first-hand of the negative impacts of the Affordable Care Act and the soaring costs. Many owners of medium-size and small-size businesses have had to either let people go or stop hiring people due to the mandated healthcare passed by Democrats. And it’s even worse for the individual, forcing some people to lose their health insurance plan altogether because of the rising cost of premiums.

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Health insurance is not healthcare. People can afford healthcare, but they can’t afford health insurance. In its current form, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t address the number one issue, which is tackling cost.  Our health insurance market lacks market-based solutions that create competition, which benefits the consumer.

 

The ability to purchase healthcare across state lines and greater incentives for younger, healthier people to buy insurance would create a sustainable system, where we all would benefit. However, to do that effectively, we should remove employer and individual mandates. Medicaid should also be reformed because every state has a different program. Healthcare should not be limited to your state because competition keeps the cost down and what we don’t have now is competition, which is one of the areas the president's plan seeks to rectify.

This is the beginning of turning back very bad legislation that has had six years to unfold.  Much damage has been done and it will take more time and thoughtful correction to get us on the right track. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass ObamaCare to see what was in it. Well, it was passed and what is in it has proven to be skyrocketing costs for the everyday person and a law that gets in the middle of individuals and their private healthcare provider.

Medicaid is the third largest budget item for the federal government and it acts as both an expenditure and the largest source of federal revenue in state budgets, yet we know just having an insurance card does not ensure timely treatment. Right not, expanding Medicaid means expanding inferior insurance. We have to reform Medicaid, which has become a system close to bankrupting states.

Each state has different healthcare environment and instead of Washington bureaucrats making decisions, we should empower each state to make decisions that benefit the needs of their individual state.

No state population is the same. We should block grant Medicaid, allowing states to manage it, and for example, allow individuals to purchase their own policies through health savings accounts (HSAs). This would give the power back to the people and take it away from the federal government.

Competition drives cost down and quality of services up, which is why it’s essential that we reform the Affordable Care Act and let the free market work for all, not just some and this is something we can do if we successfully repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Insurance companies have become the "doctor," controlling much of what physicians can and cannot do. This was not supposed to be healthcare in America. It is something you see in countries such as Canada and Great Britain and it is a system that is unsustainable and won’t work.

In Canada, for instance, it could take weeks and sometimes even months for simple procedures and is evidence that government controlled healthcare doesn’t work. The Canadian government spends a significant portion of their GDP on healthcare instead of other necessary needs. This is something that many doubt the American people would stand for because the result could be devastating for many of the programs we as Americans have become accustomed to.

We have allowed the bureaucrats to confuse health insurance with healthcare. Insurance is a purely fiscal medium. Its purpose is to protect the loss of your assets if you were to need an expensive medical treatment. Obviously, if you don’t have any assets to protect (i.e. you are poor), there is no reason to have health insurance.  If you get sick, you need healthcare, not health insurance.  

The benevolent government’s role is identifying who should qualify for free medical care and what services should be provided.  Forcing the working poor to pay for high deductible insurance plan is a burden that brings no benefit (since there are no assets to protect). Insurance for the working poor simply drives up the cost of care.

We must allow health insurance to be free again.  Currently, the federal government mandates that insurance is packaged a certain way (making it very expensive) and forces American citizens to buy it.  This leads to an overly expensive product that many do not want, but are forced to buy.  According to the recent CBO analysis of the GOP health plan, the number of the uninsured will rise by 24 million.  Is it any surprise that with the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that the number of uninsured will go up?  This simply tells us that even when heavily subsidized, the people still don’t want it, unless they are forced to buy it.  

We must allow the doctor/patient relationship to work again, which is exactly what President Trump is attempting to do by repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. It won’t be a quick fixed and the results won’t be immediate, but in due time the American people will be back in control of their healthcare and we’ll once again have government out of patient/doctor relationships.

Armstrong Williams served as an advisor and spokesman for Dr. Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonPrice resignation sets off frenzy of speculation over replacement We are all to blame for the Las Vegas shooting India's IBM conquest is an ominous sign for American industry MORE's presidential campaign. He is Manager and Sole Owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year. Listen to Mr. Williams on Sirius XM126 Urban View nightly 6:00-8:00pm EST. Follow him on Twitter @arightside.


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