(With Congress on the road to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, I thought it was appropriate to dust off this column I wrote back in 2012. It was brilliant then and is even more so now. )
As a conservative-libertarian leaning political pundit, I am now convinced more than ever that it is high time in this country for a single-payer health care system. Before you go into cardiac arrest, you might want to read the rest of this.
You know the Supreme Court upheld most of the President’s health care plan last week, I think the results will be horrible for Indiana because more people on Medicaid will put more pressure on the state budget to an estimated tune of at least $2 billion. The excise tax on medical devices will likely have a negative impact on places like Warsaw where the medical device sector is key to that region’s economy. And throw in the fact that more people will be on a government program just can’t be a good thing. So what’s a pundit to do? Advocate a single-payer health care system, with the single-payer being you, the individual, who goes out and gets your own health insurance. We can get there by ending employer-provided health insurance.
Most of us get coverage through our jobs, and if you have no job, odds are you don’t have insurance. And health-care costs eat up a significant portion of a business’s budget. If you eliminate the break, there really isn’t a reason for an employer to provide insurance and they will start dropping employees like a rock. The plus side of this is that health-care costs will also drop. Part of the problem with our health-care system is no one knows how much anything costs because a third party is picking up the tab; this is a recipe for disaster.
And I don’t believe employers dropping insurance will lead to fewer insured. That free market is an odd thing. You will be amazed at how many companies will pop up providing insurance. And since businesses no longer have the expense they can actually hire more people. As a small business owner, I constantly hear stories from people who want to bring people on board full-time but can’t afford to, primarily because of health-care costs.And when we are directly responsible for paying for our own health care, we tend to take better care of ourselves. By the way, you already buy your car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and life insurance.
And for those of you wondering about those who really can’t afford insurance, I don’t see any reason why states can’t adopt a moderate plan where the working poor, for a small fee, can purchase a basic, bare bones plan.And there are some other things that can be done like allow insurance to be sold across state lines. Then, however, insurance companies would have to register in states where they sell their products, and we could eliminate mandates on what health insurance providers must cover. This approach makes a lot more sense in the 21st Century than more taxes and more government regulation.