There’s been a lot of talk in the media lately about how repeal and replacement of Obamacare won’t be done right unless it’s simultaneously.
I think they’re wrong.
The rush to replace Obamacare could lead to avoidable mistakes. Lawmakers must take the time to ensure that the replacement is a viable, long-term solution. It must create a more competitive system that provides higher quality healthcare at a lower overall cost.
As we have seen with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there are going to be many challenges to optimizing the current system. Why rush it and increase the likelihood of getting it wrong?
Here are few reasons to wait on replacement once the repeal of Obamacare is complete.
Delaying Obamacare Replacement Would Allow the Market to Self-Adjust
Taking time to replace the law would allow the market forces to do what they’re going to do before creating another government program. Recently, I wrote about innovative disruption that could be brought about by President-Elect Trump proposed healthcare changes.
There is an adjustment that will take place in the market in the absence of Obamacare and it needs to happen. As it stands, insurance companies are fleeing exchanges, hospitals are shuddering their doors and physicians are rethinking the types of insurance they take. This is all happening simultaneously to increases in costs for drugs, health insurance premiums and deductibles. Without the subsidized coverage provided to millions of Americans, the market will need to adjust to a new reality. Now that an infrastructure has been set up, is there a way for a private market to capitalize on the groundwork that has been laid and offer a lower cost, higher quality solution?
Can insurance companies figure out an innovative way to make individual coverage more affordable? Is there another alternative for low-cost healthcare that makes sense for those that live healthy lifestyles and don’t want the coverage?
Delaying Obamacare Replacement Would Provide Time to Correct the Shortfalls
Fools rush in…that’s what they say. It would be foolish to repeal the failed Affordable Care Act and rush to replace it. The solution to out of control spending and limited access to our healthcare system is going to require “outside of the box” thinking. Thinking that has eluded multiple attempts by Congress to fix the healthcare system.
The passage of a replacement bill at the same time is ceremonious at best. The wind-down of Obamacare and the transition to a new plan is going to take some time.
Are there creative enough incentives currently offered to healthcare providers that increase value to the patient? Such a program doesn’t have to be in the form of a complicated demonstration project.
Congress and the incoming Trump administration should work together to design incentives to foster competition. The opportunity is there to create a new delivery model for healthcare led by free market principles. The current bureaucratic approach is not working and it’s costing too much money to the taxpayer.
Delaying Obamacare Replacement Would Change the Current Paradigm
It is my belief that taking the time to put together a sensible replacement program would change the current paradigm. The healthcare model is changing at a rapid pace. Acute care services are expensive and the treatment invasive. Instilling in potential patients a sense of personal responsibility for one’s health is the current direction our industry is moving in.
As such, healthcare models are popping up that take care of the patient closer to their communities in less intensive environments. What if repeal is not as bad as some of the critics claim? Would we still keep some of the more popular provision of the law? The only way to find out is to repeal and take the time to develop a solution. Replacement can not be rushed for political expediency.
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