The 2012 Presidential election has begun to take shape and the state of the United States economy is without question the number one issue that concerns most Americans. However, for over three years now, the President, assisted by the “do nothing” congress has managed to run up our national debt to historic levels, push unemployment rates higher than ever before and sign into law a bill mandating National Health Care. It is the latter issue out of the three mentioned that should cause Americans to “sit-up” and take notice if they want to retain their unalienable rights.
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). A majority of the states throughout our nation, and numerous organizations and individual persons, have filed actions in federal court challenging the constitutionality of PPACA. As of October 2011, three out of four federal Appellate Courts upheld the constitutionality of PPACA, with the fourth declaring the law’s individual mandate alone as unconstitutional. Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the suits, and has scheduled over five hours for oral arguments on the matter in March 2012.
For most Americans, they believed that with the signing of PPACA, the country moved one set closer to socialism and away from the republic that our Founding Fathers envisioned. In reality, our first “socialized” medical program (MEDICARE) began on July 30, 1965, after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965. Since that time, working Americans have been individually mandated to contribute toward a social insurance program designed to provide them with medical insurance once they reach age 65 without any ability to “opt” out or an accountability of monies contributed.
Unfortunately, what wasn’t clear to those contributing to this new program is that the federal government was also using these social monies for those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or who meet other special criteria. At first glance, there were fundamental questions and issues that one would think needed to be addressed when this bill was on the house and senate floors for consideration. Again, the reality of the situation is that a social progressive house and senate prevailed in 1965 and so we’ve lived with this ticking time bomb ever since. In many ways, as the old saying goes, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…” well you get the idea.
For many Americans, taking action to repeal PPACA is the only answer to our nation’s health care crisis and is the “war chant” we hear at many political rallies and also see posted on numerous internet blogs. However, the truth be told, repealing PPACA is only the first step in any solution and only someone who is a shallow thinker would truly believe otherwise. Now having said that, I’ll admit that there is no cookie cutter solution to this dilemma, however one distinct conclusion does emerge. Rather than continue the debate on how a progressive, government sponsored program will try through its bureaucracy to solve all of the nation’s health problems and ultimately bankrupt this country, we need to get government out of the insurance business and empower patients to make their own decisions at every level.
According to Patient Power, written by John C. Goodman (President of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Dallas, TX) and Gerald Musgrave (President of Economics Inc, Ann Arbor, MI), they believe that “A thorough economic analysis of the health care system in the United States is complex, not because special theories are needed, but because health care is the most regulated and most politicized sector of our economy. It takes considerable understanding of economics, medical care, politics, ethics, and emotions before anyone can obtain a unified view of health care.” That said, most of us know that we simply cannot walk away from our current Medicare system and abandon the millions of American citizens vested in the system.
What I propose is a bold “sunset” program that ensures the financial security/coverage for those currently vested in the Medicare system, while simultaneously encouraging citizens not yet vested the Medicare system to establish individual medical savings accounts. Based on globally available information, individual medical savings accounts accomplish the following: (1) Reestablishes the tradition of individual responsibility, (2) Lowers the cost of health insurance (eliminates third parties), (3) Lowers the administrative cost burdens, (4) Removes the financial barriers to purchasing health insurance, (5) Restores the Doctor – Patient relationship, (6) Give the patient control over insured services, and (7) Establishes a competitive medical marketplace.
By adopting the recommended solution above, over time, the government transitions out of the bureaucratic insurance business and the power for all medical decisions, control of monies, and ownership of policies are returned to the individual citizen just as our Founding Fathers envisioned. As stated earlier, we simply cannot dismantle the current health system overnight. But, we can and we should, demand that Congress adopt policies that promote the development of a competitive free market environment while eliminating those standing policies that make such an environment unattainable.
As citizens of the greatest nation on this planet, we should not take “no” as an answer from our elected officials when it is our inalienable right to determine our individual health care requirements.