This article was first published on LinkedIn on June 11, 2019.
Wherefore art thou support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
Less than ten years ago, President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law. It was a watershed achievement for Democrats, enabling them to deliver on their decades-long pledge to expand health care coverage. Today, few politicians want to touch it. The majority of the Democratic Party’s 24 candidates for president have abandoned support for the ACA in favor of some sort of Medicare-for-All program. Next thing you know, Joe Biden will renounce it.
We all know the ACA didn’t live up to its promise. It hasn’t provided affordable care to all Americans. You can fill in the blanks about the legislation’s cons and pros but one thing is very peculiar. The ACA was a “big government” program that has largely failed, and now Democrats are embracing a program that expands governmental control even more.
Republicans, to their discredit, haven’t helped matters. They’ve picked apart the ACA with Congressional action and Executive Orders. The Department of Justice is supporting a ruling that finds the ACA unconstitutional. Overturning the ACA may be a political win, but without a replacement, it puts the clinical safety and financial security of millions of Americans at risk.
My view? Instead of abandoning the ACA, we need to learn from it. Take the good, ditch the bad, and replace it with an evolved plan. With that in mind, I have devised a ten-step replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. You can hear more about it on The Powers Report Podcast in my latest show, “My Ten-Step Replacement Plan for the Affordable Care Act.” Here’s a summary:
1. Mandate that the employer-sponsored health insurance subsidy be provided as a cash benefit to employees so they can buy insurance on the open market.
2. Tax the employer-sponsored health subsidy.
3. Leave the prohibition against insurers denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions in place.
4. Bring back the individual mandate.
5. Eliminate the Ten Essential Benefits requirement.
6. Remove individuals who have recurring, high cost medical needs from the general insurance pool.
7. Require insurers to offer terms of three years, not one.
8. Require employers to offer part-time employees a prorated insurance subsidy benefit.
9. Reevaluate the Medicaid expansion program.
10. Eliminate government sponsored subsidies for health insurance premiums.
As this campaign season heats up, let’s embrace new ideas and constructive ways to ensure that all Americans have access to health insurance coverage.