Can Healthcare Be Fixed?
Even though the U.S. economy appears to be doing well, Americans are concerned about what Congress will be doing in the next six months about the ACA.
The Current State
The ACA has single handedly tripled the overall cost of health care since it was signed into law. Insurance premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed. Even though the number of insured individuals is higher, the total percentage of insured cost is down by about half since 2010.
Insurance failures are rampant, and very few insurers remain on the government exchanges. At this point 75 percent of doctors and specialists refuse at least one insurer on their state’s exchange and many refuse all of them. Despite its praise from the left, the ACA has reduced access to health care.
Changes So Far
Even in the face of catastrophe, the administration has already made progress. In 2017, the rate of cost increases slowed for the first time since the exchanges opened. This was the result of targeted deregulation that could continue to make better solutions in 2018.
The recent budget implementation killed the mandate in the tax overhaul too. The most significant change thus far has been the executive order last year with the intent of reducing regulatory differences across state lines. While it didn’t fully eliminate them altogether, it enabled more policies to cross state lines, thereby increasing competition and lowering premiums.
In additions the new mandate slashed restrictions that made it difficult for small and mid-sized businesses to negotiate company policies the way larger corporations can.
Maybe the most significant change in that executive order is the Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI), which raised the maximum length of these policies from three months to 12 months, which became more universally available as well.
Because STLDI plans’ short duration, they are more flexible than other insurance policies and thus can accommodate various age, health and social restrictions that longer policies can’t handle. They tend to be far less costly than any other policies without sacrificing coverage because they are so adaptable. Making these STLDI plans more accessible was the biggest change that reduced healthcare costs last year. It appears that this approach may play a big role in ongoing restructuring of the insurance policy restructuring in 2018 and beyond.
The Next Steps
The administration is anxious to accelerate targeted deregulation already underway and it also wants to expand on STLDI plans by making them renewable. In addition, there is also a plan for “true” universal availability which would offer everyone additional options in their policies. And one other option will be to make these plans available as Medicare and Medicaid alternatives.
Since STLDI plans are not heavily subsidized, they create market pressure that is good for consumers. In addition, their adaptability makes them good for customers regardless of ‘station’, which provides effective STLDI plans for every single American. The increased competition that results will force insurers away from the rigors of the previous program and move America’s healthcare system back towards free-market principles.
By removing restrictions on Association Health Plans (AHPs) these plans will help every employer by getting cheaper policies for their employees. Smaller businesses could pool their resources and create associations; and even individuals could co-op as an associate and bargain for better group policies.
Beyond insurance alone, the administration is working to deregulate healthcare from a supply side. Recent FDA changes have already made it easier to approve new medication and some medical treatments. In fact, 2017 set a record on both fronts.
Included in other proposed changes is the removal of barriers preventing nurse practitioners from carrying more responsibility. The assumption is that they can cover the doctor shortage and regularly offer the same level of care at a significantly reduced price.
Also, under review by the administration is making healthcare pricing more visible. Doing so would enable non-emergency care to be comparison shopped. The approach would allow consumers to explore the best deal on what you want or need and get a competitive deal on preventative and maintenance care.
This strategy is anticipated to reduce the relative cost of health care for the first time in ten years. If even half of these changes are made, the next two years could finally reverse the declining life expectancy in our country and provide better healthcare to all Americans.
Source: American Liberty Report