OPINION: TrumpCare is the cure to fixing the disaster of ObamaCare
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Almost every promise made eight years ago about ObamaCare turned out to be a falsehood. You couldn’t keep your insurance plan, doctor or provider in many cases. It didn’t save $2,500 per family (more like $2,500 more). It didn’t lead to expanded patient choice. And the tax increases badly hurt the economy and jobs market, and the insurance markets really have entered a death spiral that if left unfixed will blow-up the entire insurance market.

The fundamental lie of ObamaCare is revealed in the law’s very title: The Affordable Care Act. Democrats and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaLGBTQ advocates slam Buttigieg for past history with Salvation Army Jayapal pushes back on Gaetz's questioning of impeachment witness donations to Democrats Gaetz clashes with Stanford professor: 'It makes you look mean' MORE can sing the praises of this law until the cows come home, but no one with a straight face can say that it has made healthcare more “affordable” — except the millions whom we gave coverage to for free.

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For millions of others, premiums skyrocketed by almost 25 percent last year. And as more insurers flee the market, those cost hikes are the tip of spear. In Arizona premiums have doubled in one year. Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

 

The House Republican bill is far from perfect and still leaves far too much of the ObamaCare infrastructure in place. I was asked by CNN’s Erin Burnett last Thursday night whether the GOP plan will fulfill Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE’s promise of declines in premiums and deductibles. Eventually the increased competition from allowing Americans to buy out of state health plans should bend costs down, but that could take a while given the collapse of the insurance market the GOP inherited this year.

Republicans also should have put the bill out for 72 hours for all to see and judge.

But the advantages of this bill are significant. Letting states strip away the so-called ObamaCare “essential benefits” formula has to lower costs. The GOP plan will allow young people to buy stripped down catastrophic coverage plans at very low premium costs. It will allow Americans to check off the box on their insurance forms on the types of services they want to have covered. If I don’t want dental care, contraceptives, mental health, or drug abuse coverage, why should I have to pay extra costs for them?  This doesn’t deny people coverage, but it does make them pay for it. What a concept.

Young people will no longer have to underwrite the costs of old people. By moving those with pre-existing conditions out of the insurance pool (but providing them with direct subsidies), costs for the rest of us will fall and we will have a real functioning insurance market.

At least six major anti-growth tax hikes go away, including the surtax on capital gains and dividend income, the foolhardy medical devices tax, the tax on new life-saving drugs and vaccines, and the tax on health plans.

Moving toward a block grant system for Medicaid will give states less money over time, but will allow the states the flexibility to devise their own quality programs at lower costs. If states realize they are wasting their own healthcare dollars, rather than Uncle Sam’s, they will be much more conscientious about controlling costs. This block grant formula has worked in states like Rhode Island and Indiana to sweat out costs and improve services. Medicaid is blowing up the federal budget and state budgets at the same time. Its costs have to be controlled before the system collapses.

Eventually, we need to surgically remove government interference in the healthcare market wherever possible and move back to a genuine doctor-patient relationship. The free enterprise system lowers costs and improves service in every other sector of the economy, but not in medicine, which is so important.

Liberals like Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE are now promoting the idea of moving in the opposite direction: a federally administered insurance and health delivery market. For those who are attracted to that idea, we already have such a system. It is called the Veterans Administration healthcare system with patients dying while they wait for care or from the improper care they receive in the government hospitals. This is a disaster in every way, as Americans have discovered to our horror in recent years. For now we can say goodbye to ObamaCare. Let’s hope this isn’t too little too late.

Stephen Moore is an economic consultant with FreedomWorks and the distinguished visiting fellow for the Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation. He served as an economic advisor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.


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