Friday, 11 February 2011 00:00
The repeal of President Obama’s health care law by the House of Representatives went too far. There should have been a compromise reached. Let me explain.
First of all, there are, today, some 40 million Americans without health care insurance. And depending on who you listen to – because the facts are skewed by most commentators – there are probably 20 million who chose not to buy coverage even though they could afford it. Those are not the people we should focus on.
Before I get into the alternatives, it is important to understand the Constitutional challenge brought on by some 26 States.
According to the 10th Amendment to the Constitution “Powers” not delegated to the United States… are reserved to the States…” A Federal Judge in Virginia stated in his opinion, “…neither the Supreme Court nor any Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has extended the Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market.” A Federal Judge in Florida has even gone further by declaring the entire law unconstitutional!
Think about those decisions. And there is neither a Federal mandate to purchase auto liability insurance nor any mandate by the Federal Government to have companies purchase workers compensation insurance. The States wanted this case to go immediately to the Supreme Court for a quick decision, but the U.S. Attorney General did not approve that move. The result is that it will take two or more years to have the high Court reach a final decision.
Here are the options, which I would like to see enacted to take the place of the current law – some of which are now a part of the subject law.
1. An employee who has health insurance coverage should be able to keep his or her policy on moving from one job to another – “Portability.”
2. As in the current law, there should be no ban on pre-existing conditions.
3. Insurance companies should not be able to drop coverage for anyone, except for nonpayment of premiums.
4. There should be no limits on the dollar coverage under policies.
5. Preventative care, as in the current law, should be a part of new legislation.
Individuals should be able to purchase insurance across state lines, thus making premium costs more competitive because of more competition.
Electronic Health Records are a must because, over time, such systems would reduce the cost of health insurance and even provide more accurate health care for all Americans.
Medical liability reform is a must, as it would save some $100 billion dollars each year in defensive medicine.
And finally, there should be sliding scale systems of tax credits for the working poor.
All of the above would cover those without insurance; not raise premiums for health care nearly as much as the Obama law; and continue a system where your doctor makes medical decisions – not a bureaucracy in Washington!