Letter: Reply to Hubble Ray Smith’s “The High Cost of Repeal”
Gloom and doom “the sky is falling.” Women and children, low-income citizens left out in the cold. Nursing programs cut, massive healthcare lay-offs, staggering job losses throughout the economy. The author, citing academic experts, predict this will happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
Colorful graphics and theatrics aside, let’s take a look at where all this pessimism based on assumption, not fact, is coming from.
Night after night, day after day, the mainstream media bombards us with negative news reports and TV ads informing the public of impending disaster. The only point I believe is valid that if the ACA is repealed, it must be replaced immediately. How we achieve this is up for debate and should be done in the private sector.
As complicated as this issue is, may I suggest a few simple ideas: First, the core foundation of any healthcare solution is that patients and their physicians be in control of health care decisions. Not insurance companies and certainly not the government.
Second, eliminate individual and employer-based group insurance substituted with citizen groups or pools. This could be achieved in a number of ways depending on demographics, number of members, etc. No longer will individuals be paying exorbitant premiums. Employers will be relieved of high costs and be able to invest in their businesses.
Third, groups or pools will not have to be confined to predetermined areas. Freedom to go outside of city, county, or state lines would be allowed to find the most coverage for the least amount of money.
Fourth, no citizen would be left out in the cold if proven truly indigent. Money saved and set aside from the groups or pools would insure those unable to afford care have access to care.
Fifth, reform the Food and Drug Administration. Eliminating unnecessary regulations would vastly accelerate approving drugs for market allowing drug companies to get medicines approved in a timely manner and lowering costs to consumers.
Sixth, we must stop illegal immigration. Many people avoid this problem. Hiding our heads in the sand won’t solve the problem. The drain on our economy cannot be sustained.
As I write this article, a proposal to replace the ACA has been unveiled. It’s up for debate. Some ideas I have suggested are old and some new.
The answers to our healthcare dilemma are out there if we work together and move beyond the negative rhetoric.