In fact, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a new study has found that average premiums will increase by 27 percent next year, even higher than what the Department of Health and Human Services predicted just weeks ago.
But help for Americans saddled with unaffordable health plans may be on the way.
During his campaign for the Oval Office, President-elect Donald J. Trump repeatedly pledged to repeal Obamacare within his first 100 days in office and replace it with something he believes will be better. And now that the Republican president’s party has majorities in both the House and the Senate, there is a high likelihood he’ll be able to keep his promise. GOP majorities in Congress have voted many times in the past to repeal and replace the law.
Trump’s plan is superior to the disastrous, Washington-centric Obamacare failure
His plan, released in March, includes seven major points:
— Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts. HSAs, long favored by conservatives as a way to give Americans more control over their health spending, and as a means of forcing companies to compete for healthcare dollars by offering better, more affordable services, are at present regulated by the government. Also, there is an annual limit as to how much you can contribute; according to Nerd Wallet, “In 2017, these limits are $3,400 for an individual and $6,750 for a family; adults over 55 can add up to $1,000 more.”
— The Trump White House will work with lawmakers to devise a healthcare system that is patient-centered to promote choice, quality and affordability. Right now, as the just-released study by the center-right American Action Forum noted, consumers are being denied choice and affordability, as fewer insurance companies participate in the money-losing state exchanges. Those that remain are offering fewer plan choices as well.
— The administration will work with states to establish high-risk pools so that people who have not maintained continuous coverage will still have access to it. This will likely include those with pre-existing conditions, something that Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, said his plan would not do.
— Allow consumers to purchase health insurance from all 50 states, across state lines. Under the current system, there are out-of-state insurance purchasing restrictions, and that is hampering the creation of a more dynamic market. The National Conference of State Legislatures notes correctly that the idea of allowing unfettered out-of-state insurance sales (currently states regulate plans sold within their boundaries; large employers who self-insure are exempt from these requirements) is untested. However, it is precisely this kind of outside-the-box thinking that Trump has consistently promised to bring to Washington, D.C.
— Maximize flexibility for states and local leaders to design innovative Medicaid programs to better serve low-income citizens through the use of block grants. At present, Washington’s rigid, top-down, one-size-fits-all bureaucracy runs the Medicaid program, and there is very little states can do to make it more efficient and a better deal for taxpayers. Trump’s plan would unleash the creativity of local leaders. States, when left to their own devices, have historically been models of innovation.
— As Healthcare IT notes further, the Trump healthcare plan calls for “price transparency” from providers and hospitals, so that patients can shop for the best deals on medical care. Again, choice and competition will make a big positive impact on quality of care and pricing.
— Attempt to remove regulatory barriers that currently favor Big Pharma and prevent makers of less expensive, but safe, drugs and products from reaching the market.
“The reforms will lower healthcare costs for all Americans,” Trump said of his plan. “They are simply a place to start. There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty and provide financial security for all Americans.”
One other thing: The individual mandate would go away, meaning that the IRS would once again be taken out of the healthcare enforcement business.
Author: J. D. Heyes