With my family’s loss of our health care plan, I have been contemplating anew what the government’s role should be in health care. Faced with the very real problem of a pre-existing condition, and health care options severely limited or unaffordable, I understand personally the impetus behind Obamacare. Nonetheless, I do not believe it is the proper solution.
I believe that government regulation is largely responsible for what has led to the health care problems we have. For example, government fixed pricing of hospitals in Maryland has led to massive ballooning of costs by providers, the very problem it sought to fix! I believe strongly that a free society with minimal regulation has the capacity and strength to prosper. Obviously, the growth and prosperity of America is a shining example of this truth in action. Still, without government, anarchy reigns. Our founders concocted an ingenious constitution that regulated and limited the power of government, while making provisions for its necessary role in protecting our country, enacting and enforcing laws, and assuring freedom and equal opportunity for its citizens. However, like any growing beast, it is hard to prod it back into its cage as it gorges itself on an unending supply of expanding programs. Government continues to swell and devours the very liberties it was meant to support.
I am very hopeful Obamacare will continue to implode, or anger the awakening populace so thoroughly that they will pause their online games on their Obamaphones to vote all liberals out of office next election cycle. In my perfect world, we repeal Obamacare…and then…what?
I hate Obamacare. I believe it tramples on some of the most basic foundations of our Constitutional Republic. However, there is one aspect of Obamacare that I believe is critical and must be addressed by conservative candidates. If as I hope and pray, Obamacare goes the way of the Dodo bird, how do we deal with the issue of insuring those with pre-existing conditions? Does Government have a role in providing a safety net and support for those who through no fault of their own are unable to help themselves? Do we as a moral society have an obligation to help find solutions for the very real problem of insuring those whom the free market refuses to insure? I think we do. Amorphous promises of the market taking care of this issue will not satisfy me, since to this point, it has not. Real plans need to be proposed and thought out and need to be cogently presented to the voters ASAP.
When I owned my Occupational Therapy clinic, I provided a small percentage of my practice to Medicaid patients. I lost money on those clients, but the profit from my private paying clients offset the loss. It seems there could be a similar plan for all insurers to provide a small portion of their business to be reserved explicitly for those with pre-existing conditions. How this could be implemented requires better minds than my own, but surely would be less onerous than the path Obamacare has set us on.
Let me tell you my own personal story to illustrate the problem. I had melanoma 3 years ago. It was a shock, as all deadly diagnoses are. Fortunately, my husband had a job and we had good insurance. It was caught early, superficial level 1, and excised completely. Nonetheless, the bill our insurance paid was staggering. And it left me with a pre-existing condition. My husband lost his job in this wonderful economy of hope and change, and I now had a pre-existing condition. I could not be insured. The job market for people approaching retirement age narrows considerably. A health care system based predominately on employment left us in the lurch.
Fortunately, North Carolina was one of the few states that had a special insurance for people just like me, called “All Inclusive Health.” It was very pricey, but we signed up for it, knowing a reoccurrence of the melanoma could break us. After over 2 years of being free of any suspicious moles or lesions, Blue Cross Blue Shield decided I was now lower risk, and insured me. The rate was blessedly not nearly as pricey as the high risk pool insurance.
Enter Obamacare. Earlier this year, we received a notice from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) that our premiums would TRIPLE. The plan we wanted (read: could afford) was no longer available. The coverage we had would change to a new policy, covering more (including the newly required, objectionable, and silly things we don’t need). With my husband still job seeking, there was no way we could pay the premium!
As devout Christians (not to mention conservatives), we could not in good conscience consider Obamacare. We did not wish to support abortion in particular, and the socialist demise of our country in general. We found a Christian insurance, Medi-Share. We applied and were accepted, with moderate rates…HOWEVER, any well-visits, skin checks, diagnosis, or treatment of any sort involving melanoma were exempt from coverage. The all inclusive NC health care plan that would have covered high risk folks like me ends December 31 this year, due to Obamacare, so is no longer an option. Thus, thanks to Obamacare, we had lost our BCBS coverage, as well as the NC All-inclusive plan. Medi-share, our only alternative, could bankrupt us should I develop another melanoma. Suddenly, our choice has been narrowed to Obamacare, a choice I find morally repugnant! BCBS advised us that we can be covered for the next year on our old plan because of the extension granted by the administration to placate and obfuscate their incredible bungling and incompetence. However, the problem is only delayed, not solved.
I have seen smatterings of plans suggested that would retain our first rate health care while dealing with the issue of pre-existing conditions. John Cochrane presents some ideas including portable individual insurance across job changes, a pool of high risk individuals with insurance designed to cover catastrophic events with possibly some sort of government subsidy, and decrease regulation that purposely limits competition and reduced rates.
I agree with Mr. Cochrane and I think every candidate trying to usurp the liberal agenda needs to start developing a concise, workable, and easily understood plan. I think it could be a winning issue, but it must be addressed. Meanwhile, I am slathering on 100 spf suntan lotion and staying in the shade. Please hurry.
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