Thursday, June 15, 2017

Republicans ‘Slammed’ for Saving ObamaCare

This Spring, House Republicans have been facing loud and largely organized protests at their town hall meetings over their healthcare legislation to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare. The leading complaint concerns ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions mandate, which bars insurers from refusing customers with pre-existing conditions, or charging more for such policies.

This strikes me as strange, since the GOP from Trump on down have pledged to keep that mandate. Yet Republican congressmen often can’t get a word in edgewise. In MacArthur slammed at town hall for reviving Obamacare repeal, Jonathan D. Salant (NJ Advance Media for reports:

The first questioner at Rep. Tom MacArthur's town hall meeting here Wednesday wanted to know about those who have pre-existing conditions.

"What will happen to them?" asked C. Andre Daniels, mayor of Westampton Township. "That's what everybody wants an answer to."


For the first part of the town hall, which lasted close to five hours, the audience didn't wait for MacArthur to finish a sentence before shouting at him.

I left these comments:

Don’t these loud-mouthed fools know that MacArthur, Trump, and most of the Republican Party is on their side? Quibbling over details aside, they all believe in the pre-existing condition mandate.

And that’s the problem. The pre-existing condition mandate is the legalization of insurance theft. It says you can get healthcare services you never paid for through a prior insurance contract, and force others to pay through inflated insurance premiums and/or subsidies to insurance companies. This is fundamentally unfair and immoral. Yet the GOP favors it, right along with Democrats. The GOP simply wants to rearrange the means of forced subsidization.

The GOP’s pledge to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with substantial free market reforms has been largely abandoned. Such reforms would, to begin with, eliminate the myriad of government policies that are primarily responsible for forcing people into pre-existing condition problems through no fault of their own. Nobody in their right moral minds believes that a person who voluntarily goes uninsured is entitled to insurance coverage after the fact. But a person shouldn't be forced into that situation by government. The reason pre-existing conditions are such a big political problem is because of massive political interference in health insurance—interferences like employer-tied health insurance and state and federal “essential” benefit mandates.

But the bottom line is that it is simply unfair to force up everybody’s health insurance premiums—or outlaw their policies altogether—to bail out people facing higher premiums because of personal pre-existing conditions, which amounts to punishing people because they do not have pre-existing conditions. Each of us as individuals is responsible for planning ahead for our healthcare needs—planning made much more difficult by government policies that drive up costs and restrict our freedom to choose and to protect ourselves from pre-existing conditions in the first place.

For decades the government has been progressively restricting the freedom of insurers and consumers to voluntarily contract—so here we are. My view is that the government has had its chance at controlling our health insurance and it has failed. We now need to restore individual freedom and the natural human incentives inherent in a free market—a market where government officials stop dictating and stick to policing against fraud, breach-of-contract, and enforcing equal protection of the rule of law—to drive down costs, raise quality, and allow innovative insurance solutions. While the Republicans plan for pre-existing conditions is arguably modestly better than ObamaCare, what the GOP is essentially proposing is ObamaCare without Obama. What’s not for these loud-mouthed phonies to like?

Related Reading:

How the Freedom to Contract Protects Insurability, Dr. Paul Hsieh for The Objective Standard

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