How Can We Make Health Insurance More Reliable?
Recent attempts by Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act or ACA) have completely failed, even after years of unanimous Republican votes to reduce the individual mandate of health insurance. One thing Democrats and Republicans seem to hear is: ACA is not bad at heart, but it does not work as well as promised. Something must certainly be done to repair the new health care system – especially before a new wave of attacks may possibly dismantle it for good. But what can we do? Here are some of the most controversial initiatives that lawmakers have developed so far.
Some called Medicare to open its doors to new recipients from the age of 55 instead of the current 65 to help offset some of the costs of increasing insurance as people get older and become sicker. This program is already extraordinarily expensive, and many other legislators do not want these costs to increase even further.
Then again, the independent Bernie Sanders claimed a Medicare-for-all bill, and plans to introduce it soon. It will almost certainly not happen, but it is not necessarily its main purpose. Sanders is a workaholic when it comes to finding ways to raise public awareness of newer and more progressive ideas that could benefit everyone. He believes that Americans have the right to free health care, and he wants more Americans to be open to the idea. In this way, in the future, his dreams could become reality.
One of the ACA's most popular movements was to allow young people under the age of 26 to stay under the insurance of their parents. But some decision makers want to completely remove this provision, preferring rather to move these same young people to an individual market. Even though it was good for kids and their parents, it was not necessarily good for the markets. In order to have a healthy pool for the insurance markets, you need as many people as possible. When children follow their parents' policies, it means fewer people buy, even if they are more numerous. This is something that must surely be addressed, and soon. The longer we wait, the more the costs increase.
The ACA promised a healthy market for insurance, but that promise failed. There is not enough competition to keep insurance rates as low as we would like, and other lawmakers are trying to pass a law that would force insurers who take advantage of certain other programs to provide fair market coverage.
Another controversial idea is to allow people to pay premiums using their HSA contributions. These HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) are often used in conjunction with insurance plans with high deductibles to help people pay for them when they need them. The money they put into these accounts can not be taxed by the government, and it would be particularly advantageous to use that money to pay the premiums. The problem is, where does that leave a refundable fee for that same high-deductible account when a health problem occurs ?
Although some controversial plans are currently being discussed, one thing is certain: there is no easy alternative, and the machine used to manage health insurance is complex and difficult to maintain or repair.