Dear Republicans: Where Is Your Positive Healthcare Vision?

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July 11, 2017 by Anders Ingemarson

This September four years ago, we lamented on these pages that the “Defund Obamacare” movement (this was before “Repeal and Replace”) lacked a positive healthcare vision. At the time, Republicans came across as Scrooges, and we suggested that a positive vision—a healthcare “Shining City on a Hill”—would serve as inspiration, and place Obamacare defunding in its proper context instead of being seen as an isolated act to deprive people of healthcare coverage.

Sadly, nothing happened. We’re still waiting for a positive healthcare vision from Republicans. In its absence, they continue their Scrooge act. They expose themselves to narrowminded criticism from the mainstream media and Democrats pushing their default altruistic, collectivist agenda. And as a result, “moderate” House and Senate Republicans are running scared, revealing their blue stripes and undermining any chances of reform.

Our form of government with its checks and balances makes it hard to affect change by design. House rules and Senate rules make for an arduous, lengthy and messy process (if you wish it were different, remember that it goes both ways depending on who is in the majority). This makes it even more important for our representatives to have a vision to guide them and hold on to when the going gets tough in the trenches of the Capitol. Without a positive vision, whatever spine they may have grown before being elected will be lost in an instant, something we’ve seen playing out in front of our eyes the past six months.

In case you wondered, here is our proposal for a “Shining City on a Hill” healthcare vision that aims to restore and protect our individual rights, our freedoms and the free market:

We have a vision of healthcare in America where decisions are made where it matters, directly between patients and their doctors, and where healthcare is as affordable as our daily bread.

Help us realize this vision by restoring the Three Healthcare Freedoms:

  1. Freedom from Excessive Health Care Costs and Poor Quality of Care

Let’s remove the burden of regulation—on health insurance, on drug development, on medical procedures—allowing health insurance providers, drug companies, doctors and hospitals to compete for our—the patients’—loyalty on equal terms, driving down costs and increasing quality for all.

  1. Freedom from Healthcare Taxation

Let’s remove the chains of employer provided health insurance by making healthcare costs tax deductible for individuals as well as for employers.

  1. Freedom to Help

Let’s allow doctors, hospitals, drug companies and health insurance providers to set their own prices—high, low, or no price—and no American will be wanting for good health care when it’s truly called for.

Fundamentally, this is about respecting the individual rights of all involved parties—patients, doctors, hospitals, health insurance providers, drug companies, and other healthcare and medical providers. And the three freedoms go a long way towards total separation of state and healthcare.

You don’t think healthcare can be as affordable as our daily bread? Check out this interview on Hannity for a glimpse of the future.

Freedom from excessive health care costs and poor quality of care is simply the result of the virtues of laissez-faire Capitalism in action. Look at the continuously reduced costs and increased quality of LASIK procedures and hearing aids for an idea of what is possible even in a semi-regulated market (“semi-regulated” because doctors need to be licensed, and FDA approval is required for LASIK equipment and hearing aids. But insurance normally doesn’t cover the procedures so providers compete solely on price and quality).

You think freedom from healthcare taxation will skew consumption towards healthcare? Maybe initially, but as we’ll also work to lower and eventually eliminate the income tax, the healthcare tax breaks will decrease in value as people get to keep more and more of their hard-earned dollars in the first place.

Freedom to help implies a choice, not a selfless altruistic obligation; there is no need-based free lunch to be had or claim checks to be cashed. If left free, the healthcare field is by nature predisposed towards benevolence and goodwill towards men. When push comes to shove, healthcare is literally a question of life and death. This is a great equalizer that tends to fuel the spirit that we’re all in this thing called life together.

There you have it. Feel free to pass it on to your elected representatives and other inside-the-beltway honchos. Some Republicans (or Democrats) in the Capital corridors may be desperate enough to pay attention.

Fire away!

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