This morning, my firm had our annual health insurance meeting. As always, we were informed that our costs would again be increasing. After which, I tweeted the following:
“Yay! $300 per year more for health insurance + $1000 higher deductible.”
Ken Gardner (@KesGardner) retweeted me, and in response, @OrwellForce made a comment that launched a mini-rant from me:
- What we need is to remove the layer of artificiality which employer-offered group plans inject into the process.
- What we need is for health care consumers to not be so divorced from the process that they have no way to assess their costs & risks.
- What we need is for people to have the option of purchasing catastrophic coverage & paying for routine medical care out of pocket.
- What we need is for insurance to be offered in a la carte fashion so that each person can choose the coverage that works best for them. (Please note, the tweet said “do,” rather than “so” — stupid Auto-Correct!)
- What we need is for Big Daddy Government to butt the hell out of the process.
- And what we need is for the SCOTUS to smack down the individual mandate for the blatantly unconstitutional piece of crap that it is.
That is by no means a comprehensive list of necessary reforms. Others, in response, added some great suggestions, including dissociating health insurance from employment altogether, making it available across state lines and tort reform.
As @AIPolitics rightly pointed out, even if Obamacare is repealed, we need to not lose focus. My fervent hope is that the Supreme Court does the right thing tomorrow and, at a minimum, strikes down the Individual Mandate for the unconstitutional abomination that it is. (And while they’re at it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put a stake in the heart of Wickard v. Filburn and restore the scope of the Commerce Clause to its rightful boundaries.)
But that is not — and should not be — the end of our interest in the matter. Some significant changes do need to be made to the way health care is delivered — and paid for — in this country. One of the the concerns I see raised frequently, in addition to the astronomical costs, is the obstacles to obtaining health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. That is a serious issue and one that deserves some significant scrutiny. I may try to address that in a follow-up to this. For now, just wanted to share this mini-rant.