Who knew healthcare could be so hard?” President Trump once asked.
The fact is, if it weren’t hard, there’d be a workable solution by now. It’s sad that our national health care discussion, along with everything else, quickly dissolves into a partisan morass, and that, in their opposition to Obama’s overreach, Republicans have not offered any substantive alternatives. They have instead become the de facto defenders of the pre-ACA health care status quo, which was unsustainably expensive, ridiculously bureaucratic, and allowed too many people to fall through the cracks. There are certain conservative solutions that need to be part of the mix – tort reform, primarily, in order to reduce obscene malpractice insurance costs – but both sides of the aisle have to acknowledge and address that there are fundamental structural problems with the system, and it’s not enough just to oppose what Obama did – one needs to offer something constructive in its place.
What people don’t seem to realize is that, even before Obamacare, we had a warped form of universal health care in the United States. Granted, it was the most expensive, convoluted, and inefficient universal health care system in the industrialized world, but the fact remains that we don’t allow American citizens to die in the street for lack of health care. Emergency rooms and hospitals are required by law to treat all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
Opponents of the flawed Obama solutions ignore the fact that the current system already has enormous hidden costs as insurance holders shell out for higher premiums to compensate for the costs of covering the indigent. In addition, there is no political will to create a system where health care becomes 100% “market-driven,” so that if you can’t afford it, you can’t get it. Consequently, if we’re going to provide universal health care, we ought to figure out how to provide it at a reasonable cost rather than pretend we’re not doing it.
So help us do that. Sound off below with your ideas to canonize the best form of healthcare.