Recovering from Obamacare

During a Fox News interview HHS Secretary Azar claimed that “every single promise” of Obamacare was broken throughout the policy’s implementation . The former president received Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” award for his promotional efforts. He got that award for promising that Americans would be able to keep their doctor under the ACA.

Slick Salesmanship isn’t healthcare

Azar said, “… It still doesn’t work for people. Obamacare doubled premiums and reduced access to health insurance for people. It drove people out of the individual insurance market. It betrayed basically every single promise that was made to the American people…” Obamacare’s dishonesty is a feature, not a bug. Its chief architect, Jonathan Gruber, designed it that way. It was a device to fool what Gruber considered the “stupid voters”.

But Azar did not stop there, he also said, “… Heck, the very people who sponsored the legislation are now admitting it’s a failure, saying that we need complete government takeover of health care through Medicare for all.” The question that should spring to mind is: Why does it make sense to give them a second bite at the apple, with Medicare for all, knowing what we know of Obamacare?

What has this administration done?

Azar noted that President Trump has made some strides stabilizing the markets and driving down premiums. Trump signed an executive order to expand HRAs. This could greatly expand the individual market to drive down costs. They have also move to require publication of price in a advertising.

The administration is taking aim at Obamacare in the courts too. Federal attorneys believe, given the constitutionality of some of the provisions, that they can flatten the ACA. The Trump administration believes the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The individual mandate is the portion of the ACA requiring all Americans to get health care or face a fine. The fine has been removed.

What does the future hold?

In looking to the future Azar said, “Should the courts invalidate all of Obamacare [with their pending ruling], we’ll certainly work with Congress to ensure that we keep what’s working such as protecting pre-existing conditions but replacing it with a system that really delivers for the American people.”

A good replacement would be the free market. People should be able to acquire the coverages that are important to them. They should be able to bypass those coverages they see as having little or no value. You and your doctor together should make your medical decisions.

Conclusion:

Congress could come up with a comprehensive replacement for the ACA. Doing so will require bipartisan effort. Republicans struggled to replace Obamacare even when they had control of both the House and Senate. It will take a coalition of Donkeys and Elephants to pass anything, which is as it should be. Given the inability of any Democrat to vote for anything bipartisan… the prospects for legislative passage appear bleak.