Richard Ebeling emails:
President-elect Donald Trump has settled on a new Secretary of Health and Human Resources for his soon to be incoming administration, Congressman Tom Price of Georgia, the media has reported.
“The Wall Street Journal” explained that Congressman Price has been a strong opponent of Obamacare, and presumably will oversee the legislative attempt to repeal Obama’s “signature legislation.” But what then?
The fact is neither Trump nor Price are for a real private competitive medical care and health insurance system. Trump has called for retaining the imposed rule of children under the age of 26 being eligible for their parents’ medical insurance policies, and retaining the regulation on health insurance companies preventing them from denying or discriminating against those with medical “pre-conditions.”
According to the WSJ, Congressman Price said last summer, “We think it is important that Washington not be in charge of health care. The problem that I have with Obamacare is that its premise is that Washington knows best.”
In its place, Price has called for “refundable, age-adjusted tax credits for people to buy insurance if they don’t have access to coverage through an employer or government program” or if already enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, an individual could opt out and get such a tax credit, instead, for their private, individual coverage. In other words, Congressman Price’s version of health care “choice.”
The WSJ also quoted Price as saying, “There’s a genuine desire to have us [the Republicans in Congress] coalesce around a single plan so that the American people can see who’s trying to solve these challenges. I wouldn’t draw any lines in the sand other than that the path that we’re on doesn’t work.”
What Trump and Price (and clearly most other Republicans) are calling for in place of Obamacare is, well . . . just another form of government-funded and regulation-influenced health insurance and medical care. In other words, a semi-socialized medicine with “choice.”
Not too long ago, I published a piece on why, “For Healthcare the Best Government Plan is No Plan.”
I argued there is no solution to competitively affordable and quality health insurance and medical care other than to fully and completely leave these matters to the private market with no government intervention, regulation or control.
Yet that is the real alternative that conservatives and Republicans are unwilling to make, including the Republican leadership in the Congress and in the incoming Trump Administration. Instead, they want a “middle way” that seems to allow “choice” and some competition while retaining the hand of government in a crucial area of human well-being that should not be left anywhere near the hands of those in political power.