Whatever becomes of the Republicans’ health reform bill, America’s health care system is mangled and fundamentally toxic. It can only be fixed by reform based on human life as the standard, not on cost, covering sick persons at the expense of others or by striving for the greatest good for the greatest number. The system to meet this standard — life here and now — must be based on the rights of the individual. This means reform that advances capitalism.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare, is based on the anti-capitalist premise that health care is a right. In fact, the Constitution does not recognize a “right” to health care. There is no “right” to force others to provide protection, e.g., an insurance plan, against risk of illness or delivery of medicine, surgery or other medical services and skills.
ObamaCare, which has been the law for seven years, forces every American into a government system controlling plans, prices, treatments, terms, conditions and exact details of everyone’s health care. For instance, plans must include maternity and children’s care, punishing those who choose not to procreate. Plans must also cover those who are already sick, regardless of cost, even if treatment runs into the millions of dollars.
On what grounds should the healthy be forced to pay for the sick — or the young be conscripted to serve the old — or the childless be coerced to suffer for the sake of children? Injustice is inherent in ObamaCare.
This monstrosity is what Republicans pledged, passed and sought to repeal.
Then came a GOP majority in both houses of Congress and a new president who (wrongly) regards health care as a right, including ObamaCare’s guaranteed issue of plans and egalitarian pricing — community rating — regardless of sickness or cost. The president supports these provisions, meaning he seeks legislation that does not repeal ObamaCare. Indeed, GOP leaders vow to retain ObamaCare’s most restrictive and punitive parts.
Compounding the problem are supposedly pro-free market groups and think tanks that claim to support ObamaCare’s repeal yet fail to demonstrably educate, advocate and advance free choice in medicine. Among these are the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and Americans for Prosperity.
Having been an editorial activist for health care freedom and having studied, covered and written about health care policy reform since 1993, I propose seven steps for repeal advocates to bring an end to ObamaCare and enact the proper framework for reform based on individual rights:
1. Repeal ObamaCare — all of it.
2. Eliminate caps and restrictions on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), expand eligibility for HSAs, eliminate restrictions to selling health insurance and eliminate regulations.
3. Propose meaningful entitlement reform to gradually phase Medicare out.
4. Convene an ad hoc group inviting the best and brightest minds — on the condition of recognizing absolute individual rights and advocating pure capitalism — to conceive and write legislation which enacts these ideas to follow ObamaCare’s repeal.
5. Create a new, private, ad hoc Health Charity Fund (HCF) — precluded in its charter from accepting or involving government grants, funds or controls — to aid the sick, low-income, unemployed, disabled and destitute. Define HCF’s goals, terms and standards, including eligibility and specific services, on how to get and give help. Ask altruists and any related foundations, such as the Pope, Bill and Melinda Gates, Barbra Streisand, Colin Powell, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Kimmel, Presidents Clinton and Bush and Warren Buffett, and anyone, including groups, companies and churches, who asserts that humans exist to serve and help others, to consider, pledge and bestow whatever they choose to the HCF. This may include being invited to serve on the board or donate money, property and sponsorship of health care treatment, etc. Also call upon Donald Trump and drug, hospital and health companies — and all Americans regardless of financial status — to consider aiding the HCF in lieu of soon-to-be-defunct government programs.
6. Form a private, ad hoc, non-government commission of qualified scholars and professionals to study potential impact of an act of Congress to add a line item on the federal income tax form by which the taxpayer may voluntarily contribute to the Health Charity Fund or any private charity.
7. To support and clarify these efforts, create and launch a privately-funded ad hoc campaign and tour featuring speeches, courses, workshops, debates and discourse in cities and counties across America to explain, demonstrate and showcase this radical new approach to health care reform. This may include informational interaction with direct, concierge and free market medicine producers.
Restoring Americans’ right to choose their own health care, including the freedom to choose whether and how much to buy, and how to finance, insure and use, means first liberating Americans from ObamaCare.
The cost, coverage and delivery of medicine has been thoroughly and fundamentally distorted by over a century of government intervention in medicine, insurance and economics. Rational reform does not mean leaving people to die in the streets as anti-capitalists claim; in fact, rights-based reform fosters the ideal outcome.
But this prospect must be proven, demonstrated and communicated with clarity; Republicans historically, consistently and spectacularly fail to make a principled case for capitalism. Groups claiming to oppose America’s health care status quo also accept support on the false promise that they aim to dismantle a system that violates individual rights. As a means for advancing capitalism and freedom, they have failed to produce lasting, meaningful impact and results. So, these groups have to some extent constructed an ivory tower. They ought to practice what they claim to advocate.
Activating this seven-step series — intended as the start, not the end — for rational health care reform, these professed advocates, Republicans and true liberals, Democrats, independent voters and all Americans can hold the U.S. government to the highest health care policy standard: life, here and now.
Politicians ought to act now to end the status quo — this means the president, too — and adopt this radical, new approach to enacting life-affirming law. President Trump and the GOP should do what they promised and repeal ObamaCare, starting with these seven steps and vowing to achieve pure, total 100 percent capitalism and restoration of individual rights.
Let’s go for nothing less than victory.