Not much to say on this one that I didn’t cover in my Obamacare post, but if I were on the debate stage with the Democrats or with President Trump, this is what I would say with regard to healthcare…
Firstly, I would reinstate the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and give it bigger teeth. As I said in my Obamacare post, my proposal would require those without insurance to either pay a very large tax penalty ($10,000 or more) or opt for a health savings account (HSA) with a minimum balance of $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for a family.
To reiterate my reasoning for this, private healthcare insurance is just like other forms of insurance in that a large pool of insureds is the only way to ensure low premiums. Those with preexisting conditions would have to pay more than healthy individuals and I’d add incentives (lower premiums, copay waivers, etc.) for individuals and families that improve/maintain their health and/or avail themselves of preventive care through their primary care physicians.
Lastly, as president, I’d set the agenda to address our healthcare system as a whole. Right now, what we have is not a healthcare system, but a “sick care system”.
If we truly want to transform from sick care to ACTUAL healthcare and provide better healthcare at lower costs, we must address the root causes of health problems that don’t default to a pharmaceutical solution or a surgical intervention.
Why isn’t an insurance-covered prescription for several months of lifestyle coaching and products a required FIRST step for EVERY person who faces a chronic illness BEFORE escalating to costly and risky pharmaceutical or surgical procedures?
I fully understand that lifestyle changes are not a panacea. The lifestyle approach is only a first step in a comprehensive healthcare strategy, something that is typically ignored in favor of selling expensive drugs or surgery like we have now in our sick care system.
Pharmaceuticals and surgeries are wonderful advancements in our modern healthcare system and they certainly have their place in ensuring a positive outcome for patients. However, that place should not be the first, and sometimes ONLY, resort for the treatment of chronic diseases, especially where there are evidence-based alternatives that often can lead to a reversal of many diseases. For example…
I’m living proof that type 2 diabetes is reversible and not an incurable, progressive disease.
I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic almost two years ago. With a few simple lifestyle changes (no processed foods, no refined carbohydrates, regular exercise, cutting down severely on alcohol), I lost over 30 pounds and look and feel like I did in my younger years.
I know my healthcare positions might not be popular with many of my fellow Americans, but my solution doesn’t require a tax hike or new major legislation and it puts the healthcare onus where it belongs…
On the individual.
Next up: Tax reform
-The Rational Ram