The Trump Administration and congressional allies, personified by House Speaker Paul Ryan, have recently introduced health care legislation. This legislation seeks to overturn the train wreck of Obama care and introduce more patient centered and market oriented health care into our body politic. This will be a challenging endeavor. Histrionics on the left have already greeted this proposed legislation. Today’s Washington Post front page shrieked that all health care was jeopardized. Cries that “people will die” have emanated from the rhetorical ether. The inescapable reality of human life is that we will all die regardless of the form of health care we live under. The hysteria greeting this proposed legislation is a good sign it’s a step in the right direction.
Despite the disastrous historical record of government administered health care in Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, the acolytes of subsidized medicine cling to their belief that only state run health care meets their lofty standards of “compassion.” Proponents of this form of “health care” expect us to deify national governments and look to them as our cradle to grave provider and surrogate mother and father. In its short and miserable experience, Obamacare has sought to enshrine abortion as an entitlement, produced drastic increases in health insurance premiums, and lowered service quality.
Truly effective health care begins when individuals of all ages and socioeconomic breakdowns take responsibility for their own health care and that of their families. Ideally, employers should give their employees a variety of options to select the insurance package best suited to their individual needs and the healthcare requirements of their family.
Republicans need to ensure that any health care legislation encourages consumer choice, respects the religious beliefs of all individuals, recognizes that Washington, DC does not know everything and cannot mandate which coverage is best for each and every individual, is affordable, allows individuals and families to cross state lines to purchase health insurance, does not increase the federal budget deficit, and encourages individuals to work their health care providers to regulate costs. It is not enough to overturn Obamacare. We must construct effective long-term alternatives that empower individuals instead of government. This should be the essence of conservative legislative policymaking.
It will be hard work over the next few months to approve such legislation and many years of trial and error to effectively implement it. Ideally, such legislation should, unlike Obamacare, include bipartisan input. Unfortunately, the vast preponderance of congressional Democrats are chained to the concept of single payer health care the way a drug addict is clings to their needle.
A true sign of effective health care reform is when individuals and families take responsibility for their health care needs instead of expecting governmental entities to be their mommy and daddy. We must encourage greater consumer choice in private sector health care availability. Instead of fixating on how many Americans would lose health insurance, as the Congressional Budget Office score of this legislation does, we should quantify how many Americans gain affordable market based health care which is prudently regulated within individual states. This is a wonderful and critical opportunity for the Trump Administration and congressional Republicans to demonstrate adult leadership that improves health care service and coverage for all Americans. Don’t screw it up!