Did the Freedom Caucus do us a solid, or did Jim Jordan (R-OH) and his colleagues put us on a one-way ticket to a single payer system?
Given the flurry of tweets between President Trump and several Freedom Caucus members, the chasm between conservatives and mainline Republicans has never been greater. To make matters worse, there’s talk that Ryan wants to send the measure back to Congress with little to no changes.
But who is Ryan fooling? It’s common knowledge that TrumpCare is flawed. Both he and President Trump know this to be the case, as well. In fact, at one point Trump had even promised to continue negotiating the terms of Paul Ryan’s proposal and remove all its the flaws before giving his approval and attaching his signature.
While the AHA in its original form had its share of problems, the Republican version bears a striking resemblance to Obamacare.
The Problem With Obamacare And Other Government Mandated Health
The issue that many Americans have with the Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act is that it’s not affordable. Quite the contrary, in fact, as the average annual premium for employer-sponsored plans in the U.S. has gone up by $5,000.
Likewise, on average, deductibles on individual policies have gone up by the same amount. However, rising costs aren’t the only thing wrong with Obamacare. For instance, upon implementation over 3.5 million consumers lost their insurance policies. That said, skyrocketing premiums and cancellation notices are merely symptoms.
As free market economists, such as Thomas Sowell would point out, the real problem with the Affordable Healthcare Act is that it was never meant to lower the cost of insurance. Instead, it was devised to correct a perceived inequality, that of making health care more accessible to young or low income individuals. However, it does so by forcing middle and high income earners to pay more.
So, although one individual has made healthy and wise choices in life, the Affordable Care Act forces them to pay higher premiums and more taxes to help the next person pay his or her tab. In essence, Obamacare and related schemes – such as RyanCare – attempt to right a wrong by creating a new one.
The Question On Everyone’s Mind
So, was this an oversight on Trump’s part, or does it represent something more sinister? It more than likely signifies what some have known all along, which is that America’s two main political parties may be a lot more alike than we like to think.
Perhaps this is why many complain that the bill carries a strong stench of hypocrisy. After all, let’s be honest, if Democrats had authored an identical health care bill, the same politicians who stood with Trump to champion the legislation just a few days ago, would be lampooning it.
By blocking the American Health Care Act of 2017, the party occupying the White House has essentially left Obamacare in tack. Unless something changes, we should expect insurance rates to continue racing upwards, as more major insurers exit the market and the ability to attract new participants becomes increasingly difficult.
Unfortunately, the Republican party will have to embrace all of Obamacare’s flaws or find a way to mend them. One solution is a complete repeal of Obamacare and instituting a free market health care system.
Is The Free Health Care Market A Viable Solution?
There is no doubt that Americans need a more viable health care system. One in which they - not some government bureaucrat ― has a say in their quality of life. Above all else, Americans are looking for a system in which each patient is empowered to make their own health care decisions.
Those in the Freedom Caucus that voted ‘no’ have indicated that there are several key principles that must be included in any new system; portability of private health care insurance, equality in tax relief, free choice of providers, health savings accounts, cross-state availability, etc.
In countries like India, where barriers to entry into the market are low, the premiums and the health care costs have decreased year after year. Likewise, outside of the health services field, nearly every other industry is tailored to the needs of the market. The same concept should be applied to the domestic health care industry.
Unfortunately, our new elected president failed to fulfill his promise of repealing Obamacare. While much of the blame was attributed to the Freedom Caucus they were only trying to fulfill campaign promises. Nonetheless, the President has already threatened to “primary” conservative Republicans who refuse to toe the line by siding with him and Ryan.
If the current administration continues to alienate conservatives, it could find itself in a position where it unites both sides of the aisle ― against Trump. For someone who campaigned as an outsider this is certainly not the best way for the president to end his first 100 days in office.