Hold On, Mr. President-Elect!

THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF in town, and his name is Donald Trump. No matter what you may think of his history, attitude, or behavior, one thing is for sure – he’s a total political outsider who’s going to shake things up in Washington.

Which in my humble opinion is likely to be a good thing, especially when it comes to his promise to quickly repeal certain elements of ObamaCare. You know, the national health insurance law that promised to make health care affordable, but instead penalized folks who couldn’t pay their premiums, crippled small businesses with mounds of new paperwork, then cut back on workers’ hours and killed their jobs?

Yeah, that one.

Well I heartily join President-elect Trump in saying goodbye, and good riddance to that awful piece of…legislation.

But when it comes to the incoming administration’s stated goal of not only repealing, but then replacing what will surely go down in American history as one of the most disastrous experiments ever conducted by our Federal government, I say “Hold on, Mr. President-Elect!”

Because the biggest problem with health insurance, also happens to be the biggest problem with health care – they aren’t affordable. And no amount of new laws or regulations could – or would – make either of them affordable, either.

Just take as an example ObamaCare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act. Whatever that law may have accomplished so far, it certainly hasn’t made health care any more affordable, has it? Quite the contrary, and the same holds true for the laws’ effects on health insurance, with 2017 premiums rising over 100% in some states.

In fact, perhaps the greatest landmark achievement of ObamaCare has been to postpone the establishment of the only thing that will fix the health insurance dilemma, and drive down the costs for Americans to get insured – a free market in the health insurance industry.

As I outline in the last chapter of my book, the only way Uncle Sam can make health insurance more affordable, is for the government to do everything it can to eliminate the barriers to a free market in the health insurance industry.

I’m all for repealing the employer mandate, that has guaranteed a ready-made market of millions of customers for the health insurance companies, which in turn has allowed them to keep their prices high.

I’m all for repealing the taxpayer-funded subsidies that have enlarged the class of government-dependent citizens, and also allowed the health insurers to keep their prices artificially high.

I’m all for repealing the idea of “open enrollment,” that stifles competition between health insurance companies by effectively locking in high health insurance rates, for a year at a time.

Those reversals would be an excellent start, but the Trump administration is going to need to go the extra distance if it really wants to change the face of health insurance. It will also have to do away with laws that have been on the books for far longer than ObamaCare. Such as:

Repealing the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, that created health insurance networks and gave them the power to fix the prices of health care with doctors and hospitals.

Repealing all laws that allow the health insurance companies to unlawfully practice medicine, by intruding into the Doctor-Patient relationship.

Repealing the laws that forbid the sale of health insurance across state lines, so a person in Texas can buy health insurance from a company in Minnesota.

And finally, repealing any and everything that impedes the entry of new health insurers into the marketplace, and prevents new competitors from offering health insurance to the masses.

Because after all President-elect Trump, since you of all people understand how the business world works, the free market is the only way to drive the price of health insurance down. By ensuring that the insurers face plenty of stiff competition; and not plenty of new legislation.

So I appeal to you, sir, please don’t try to craft some kind of an Affordable Health Insurance Act. You won’t accomplish anything by replacing bad legislation with – more bad legislation.

Instead, repeal, repeal, and then repeal some more.

But please, don’t replace.

It’s not the COSTS of health care that are outrageous…it’s the CHARGES.

Physician. Health Insurance Agent. Author. Health care humorist. Medical satirist. Disruptor. At your service. My name is Kevin Wacasey, and I’ve been practicing medicine since 1994. When I graduated from medical school, I took an oath to do no harm to my patients. To me, that includes financial harm. But since health insurance took over health care over 40 years ago, health care prices have skyrocketed. And despite what we’re told by the media every day, it isn’t the costs of health care that are outrageous; it’s the charges. So if you’ve ever wondered why we spend so much on health insurance and health care, then come along and join me as I explore the crazy world of Healthcareonomics. Health care doesn’t have to be expensive. Let me show you how. For speaking opportunities and to pass along your questions/comments, please email me at drw@healthcareonomics.com.

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