Forbes has published my latest OpEd, “The Only Obamacare Fix Is For Obama To Legalize Real Health Insurance“.
My basic theme is that we need to legalize real “catastrophic-only” insurance, free of government mandates. More broadly, instead of debating which new government entitlements to create, we should be vigorously debating which freedoms to restore.
Here is the opening:
The President has proposed a one-year “fix” to deal with the political fallout from his broken promise (or lie), “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it.” Now it’s, “If you like your plan, you can keep it until after the 2014 mid-term elections. Maybe.”
But the problems with ObamaCare go much deeper than cancelled insurance. As surprising as it sounds, most Americans never had real health insurance to begin with — and were not allowed to by law. And the only cure for our current health insurance mess is to legalize real health insurance…
I discuss the history of how we got into our current mess and some concrete free-market reforms that would move us in the right direction. These include:
1. Eliminate the tax disparity between employer-provided health insurance and individually-purchased health insurance.
2. Eliminate all mandated benefits. Insurers should be free to offer to willing consumers inexpensive policies covering only catastrophic accidents and illnesses.
3. Allow insurers to sell policies across state lines.
(For more details, read the full text of “The Only Obamacare Fix Is For Obama To Legalize Real Health Insurance“.)
If you like these ideas, please feel free to circulate the column to friends, family members, etc.
You can also send your elected officials a quick e-mail. Please feel free to use and/or modify the template below:
Dear [Congressman or Senator]:
As the current problems of the Affordable Care Act are becoming more apparent to Americans, we need to consider genuine free-market reforms.
I like the ideas in this recent Forbes article, “The Only Obamacare Fix Is For Obama To Legalize Real Health Insurance“, including the following:
- Eliminate the tax disparity between employer-provided health insurance and individually-purchased health insurance. This would uncouple health insurance from employment and restore a level playing field to the individual insurance market. Individuals could then purchase policies that they kept even when they changed jobs (just as they already do with their car and homeowners insurance).
- Eliminate all mandated benefits. Insurers should be free to offer to willing consumers inexpensive policies covering only catastrophic accidents and illnesses. Insurers would remain free to offer richer policies that covered varying levels of elective procedures (but cost correspondingly more). Customers could purchase whatever levels of coverage they wished from willing insurers based on their own individual needs and circumstances.
- Allow insurers to sell policies across state lines. State mandates create 50 separate state markets rather than a single national market. A family insurance plan costing $3,000 in Wisconsin might cost $10,000 in New Jersey because of state regulatory barriers. Allowing interstate competition would quickly drive down prices and help many working families on a tight budget.
I hope Congress can discuss and debate these ideas as a way to truly fix our health care system.
[Signed your name, address, etc.]