Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act, a bill which repeals and replaces Obamacare. While there are some positive aspects of the American Health Care Act, there are also several negative aspects. I would like to focus here on one incredibly vital flaw of both Obamacare and the American Health Care Act.
Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given power over healthcare. This has been a point I have made for a while now, and few people seem to care. Any power not specifically granted to a branch of the federal government is reserved to the states or to the people. This is guaranteed by the 10th amendment to the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given power over healthcare, in any way, shape, or form. Thus, the federal government has no Constitutional authority to regulate health insurance, or meddle in our decisions about healthcare, either with Obamacare, the American Health Care Act, or any other bill. In fact, a stronger case can be made on a Constitutional basis that healthcare is an individual decision than the case that healthcare may be regulated by the federal government.
I should also take a moment to point out that government involvement in healthcare has lead to higher mortality rates. Let us take Obamacare, for example. The mortality rates in the United States have risen since the passage of Obamacare. Prior to the passage of Obamacare, the mortality rate was in a steady decline. The reason for the spike in the mortality rate? It is very simple, really. Government involvement in the health insurance industry drives up the prices of premiums and deductibles. Those who can afford to buy health insurance after the price increases cannot afford the deductibles. Let me give you an example. I recently had a fairly affordable healthcare plan (although I am currently uninsured). It was only $10 every other week. The company I used to work for paid the rest. The problem was that this "affordable" insurance had a deductible of several thousand dollars. In other words, it would be cheaper for me to pay most hospital bills out of pocket than it would be for me to use my insurance. The only way for me to get a lower deductible was to buy a more expensive plan. The only plan that was offered to me that had a deductible that was semi-affordable would have cost me nearly $400/month, AND THAT WAS WITH THE COMPANY PAYING FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE COST. In other words, if I got sick, I was screwed. I had health insurance, and the Democrats in Washington were celebrating over the insurance they forced me to purchase. While they were celebrating, I was WORSE off than if I had no insurance, since I was being forced to pay money out of my own pocket for something that I could never use. Bureaucrats in Washington were celebrating over their success in forcing me into an impossible-to-win situation.
Let me offer an alternative: the free market. Allow people to purchase whatever plan best suits them and their families from anywhere within the United States. Let the insurance companies compete for business. While I am on this topic, let me give you another example. This time, it is a success story about the free market. While government involvement has driven up the prices of health insurance, the free market has offered affordable alternatives to government mandates. One of the benefits from my previous employer was membership with a group called Teladoc. Membership is $27/YEAR for an individual, and $45 per consultation with a doctor. Family plans are only $5/ month. When you pay for Teladoc's services, you gain access to hundreds of board-certified doctors, who will consult with you via phone, video conference, or other means. These doctors can do nearly everything that your primary care physician can do, and they can save you money by taking care of your non-emergency situations, thus saving you an expensive trip to the ER. I know, I have had to use them in the past. The best part is that YOU DON'T NEED INSURANCE. That's right! I DON'T NEED INSURANCE TO GET AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE! THE FREE MARKET HAS ALREADY SOLVED THAT PROBLEM! Organizations like Teladoc exist. It is too bad that a few bureaucrats in Washington are more concerned about control over our lives than they are about our health or following the Constitution.