We are now living in the era of ObamaCare and its effects on us as consumers of health care, and its effects on the healthcare ‘industry’; and yes, it is an industry whether or not we wish to consider it as such.
Republicans were unable to effect a total repeal of ObamaCare. Its creators knew precisely what they were doing even as they sold us all something different that we might continue to refer to as a “bill of goods”. This “government knows best” approach to funding health care coverage has increased the numbers of those ‘covered’ even though it has effectively disrupted the industry to the point that we cannot be certain the industry as we knew it will ever be with us again.
In some respects, ObamaCare has done to the healthcare community what happens when an egg is dropped from counter height to the floor; the industry was shattered by the over-laying of rules that were designed to force health insurers to make wholesale changes to the manner in which they did their business. The health insurance world effectively was changed drastically overnight.
We see the continuation of more and more consolidation in the provider community. That consolidation is a two-edged sword. Providers of care have been making changes necessitated by ObamaCare; in some cases, those changes have actually improved the range of services available. In other cases, we see systems of providers being subsumed by other systems that have better financial conditions and, thus are able to survive, albeit in different manners than before. We see feeble attempts by Congress to do something, even though it seems uncertain as to just what that something ought to be, to make changes at the federal level.
There is a simple fact that we need to accept before much can be changed: ObamaCare, in one or another form, is with us throughout our lifetimes and those of our offspring. The latest attempts to remake parts of ObamaCare so as to make it more sustainable and more readily available to those it was meant to help are occurring at the state level.
That permits the states to try ideas which might work, and it provides multiple proving grounds so many ideas can be put into operation simultaneously, and so that the best of a breed can be exported from one state to another. This essentially restores the usual function of the states since that is where health care has chiefly been regulated and is obviously closer to where the service is delivered.
President Trump’s Administration has been encouraging states to obtain waivers that are permissible under ObamaCare to make the changes they believe to be beneficial in their own locale. Alaska is an example as reported recently In National Review. It won federal approval for its brand of “reinsurance” waiver which is financed partially by state funds and partially with federal money that would’ve otherwise gone to insurers to help them provide coverage to low-income enrollees. Bronze plan (lowest available) premiums dropped by some 25% for 2018. That contrasts other states where the premium rates increased by an average of 16.4% for the same coverage.
Had this massive change in the financing of health care in America been planned carefully and discussed openly rather than being passed in the dark of night by all the DEMOCRATS in Congress, maybe we could’ve avoided the issues that have plagued this program.
The Trump Administration has been making wise changes to ObamaCare regulations that permit tweaking at the state levels. Our states are very familiar with the governance of health care insurance since they’ve been doing it for years prior to ObamaCare. If something good and lasting is to be resurrected from ObamaCare, it will come from the respective states as they are now empowered and encouraged.
Each state has different needs and is ideally situated to make the changes required to accommodate those needs without Federal meddling, simply with Federal enabling.
Thanks to former President Obama and the Democrat Congress, we are stuck with this Obama-nation. Permitting the individual states to re-design it to meet the needs of their respective populations and provider groups simply makes good sense.