On the campaign trail, presidential hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE bashes the Trump administration for ripping “health care away from millions.” At the same time, the House of Representatives voted recently on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, which aims to expand further the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and rollback several of the Trump administration’s initiatives.
Confusingly, the Democrats are doubling down on the status quo, which has proven to be an increasingly expensive system, limits choices, and is unable to respond quickly during a crisis. The only bright spot of the pandemic response was when the government peeled back our current bureaucratic system, yet they are still aiming for full government take over health care.
The timing of these public cries of outrage by the Democrats is no coincidence. They came timed around the deadline for the Trump administration to file its brief with the Supreme Court arguing for ObamaCare to be struck down. To combat that narrative, Democrats are aiming to score political points and scare voters in November.
Even though the outcome of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act is already determined. It was dead on arrival in the Senate, and the policies Biden is pushing will go nowhere in the short-term. It is important to take a closer look at exactly what is included and what messages the Democrats will be using through this fall and beyond.
Firstly, the Democrats are in favor of creating a government-run reinsurance scheme to give taxpayer funding to insurance companies. This would only drive up insurance costs for families while providing billions in taxpayer payouts to insurance companies, many of which are experiencing record profits.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement itself also includes the canceling of insurance plans for Americans who purchased short-term renewable plans outside of ObamaCare exchanges by ending the Trump administration’s rule creating new choices.
These short-term plans are typically more affordable than ObamaCare, while also including many doctors and hospitals unavailable in other plans’ networks. By their own logic, this would mean the Democrats are guilty of taking health care away from millions, those with short term plans, etc.
The Democrats are also proposing price controls and tax increases, which would decrease the likelihood of vaccines or quality medicine being developed and available for not only COVID-19 but beyond.
Instead, we should be providing Americans ways to achieve more affordable care that best fits their needs by giving control to patients and doctors alike.
Take the House Republican Study Committee Health Care Plan. This plan proposes ways to “protect Americans with pre-existing conditions,” who are actually getting left behind by ObamaCare despite the popular narrative to the contrary; “empower Americans with greater control over their health care decisions and dollars,” instead of the control being handed to government bureaucrats and insurance companies; and, “personalize health care to meet individual needs” instead of the one-size-fits-all options currently provided.
Specific bills that would support this include:
- The Personalized Care Act, which would revise Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in various ways ultimately increasing the participation and scope of these tax-free accounts.
- The Increasing Health Coverage through HRAs Act, expanding access to workplace health reimbursement arrangements.
- The Health Coverage Choice Act, enabling people to buy health insurance tailored to their needs by expanding access to short-term renewable plans, which are typically 50 percent to 80 percent less expensive than traditional plans.
- American Healthshare Plans Act of 2020, which would allow non-employer groups to offer health care plans to individuals.
This current attempt by Democrats is simply a distraction from the real issues instead of providing solutions that would truly help the American public. Right now, we must focus on how people can be helped now, during the pandemic, and in the long-term. The last thing American families, who are still dealing with the economic impact of the pandemic, should be paying for is a bailout of the insurance industry and further empowerment of the federal government.
Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Former Georgia ethics official to challenge McBath A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US MORE is a physician who served as Health and Human Services secretary in 2017 and is a former U.S. congressman from Georgia. He is currently the president and CEO of HealthWiseFirst.