On March 23rd, 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in hopes of fixing our health insurance and health care problem. Well, it’s no surprise to anybody who lives in our world that Obamacare did not fix the problem. Instead, health insurance premiums have gone up and deductibles and out of pocket maximums have increased. So why did a bill that was intended to fix the problem not work? It really comes down to three things.
When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it was targeting health insurance. It is very obvious by all of the things that are written in the bill and the effect of the bill, that it was really going after health insurance companies. The reality is, our health care problems and the cost of health insurance has very little to do with the health insurance companies. There was always this misconception that health insurance companies were making tons of money and they were keeping all the profits and they were overcharging on their price. Now we can see, based on the restrictions that are put on health insurance companies by the Affordable Care Act, that this is not true. Health insurance companies were not rolling it in and they were not keeping tons of profit.
These are the three things that could be fixed with our health care law that would actually keep our premiums lower:
1. Creating a capitalistic structure for price-driven services. If people understood how much things cost, and had an opportunity to price it out and to pick where they wanted to go based on price, it would create a capitalistic society inside of health care, which would drive prices down. By driving the prices down, it would lower the cost of health insurance, because health insurance and the vehicle that writes the checks to pay for the high cost of health care too.
2. Lowering the cost of prescription medication. The other part that’s driving up the high cost of our health care, is the cost of our medications. Right now, the pharmaceutical industry is by no means regulated like the health insurance industry is when it comes to their costs. If we had more of a capitalistic system with our pharmaceuticals, then it would drive down the cost of our prescriptions, and then help the cost of our health insurance. The big question is, why does America pay so much for our medications when our neighbors in Mexico and Canada pay a fraction of the price? Why do our neighbors in Mexico and Canada pay a fraction of the cost when it comes to our prescriptions? The truth is, America has the economy and the market to be able to charge a higher price compared to other countries. How can we drive down the cost of our medication and allow us to be able to pay less on prescriptions?
3. Lowering the high cost of doctors and hospitals. I believe another factor in driving down the cost of our health insurance is the high cost of our physicians and our hospitals. It is no doubt that we live in a great country and we drive the Cadillac of health care. Going to a hospital in America is an amazing experience compared to a third world country. We have our babies in beautiful, clean facilities compared to dirt floors. However, I believe that some of these costs involved in these situations comes from malpractice suits. If there was a way that we could control how much our hospitals and doctors are being sued, then it would drive down the cost of their services, and if we can have hospitals and doctors become more affordable because they’re not being sued for malpractice at exorbitant rates, it would drive down the overall health care cost, which in turn would drive down health insurance.
These are only three things that could change and help the cost of our health insurance, but unfortunately when the Affordable Care Act law was passed, all three of these things were ignored. Instead, they focused on just the health insurance companies, trying to force them to create a product that was cheaper, and in turn, all they’ve done is cause confusion and a subsidy that is just costing America billions and trillions of dollars.
This article was written by Tim Jackson, President of The Health Insurance Specialists Inc.
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