Health Care Challenges Need Serious Solutions

Kevin Nicholson article discussing health care challenges and medicare-for-all

Many of the politicians who supported Obamacare in Wisconsin and at the national level are clearly happy to ignore the rising costs that have resulted from that policy’s effects on our health care system. If that were not enough, they would now like to make the system even more inefficient and expensive. So-called “Medicare-For-All” would devastate our health care system, and further bankrupt a federal budget that is already reeling from health care costs.

As recently as 1970, spending on healthcare programs constituted only five percent of the federal budget. By 2000, that number increased to 20 percent, and by 2017 it reached 28 percent.Without even adding the cost of Medicare-For-All, the Committee for a Responsible Budget projects that about one-third of the federal dollars not spent on interest payments will fund health spending by 2028 – and nearly 40 percent by 2040.

Were the federal government to socialize medicine, any benefits to industry would be short-lived, as the estimated $32.6 trillion bill for Medicare-For-All came dueler the ensuing 10 years. Those costs – and likely tax hikes – would be economically crippling for our nation.

There are serious answers to our health care challenges that do not induce economic ruin, and Wisconsinites need to hear them. Price transparency is one of the best tools that we can introduce to enable more people access to health care at better prices. According to recent Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty research, there is a correlation between how transparent a state’s health care laws are with the affordability of health care. Price transparency not only empowers consumers to make smarter choices about their care, but it also promotes competition between health care providers and leads to more affordable health care options.

Indiana implemented polices that promoted price transparency, coupled with deductible security plans – essentially, health savings accounts with an employer match, along with incentives for making fiscally responsible health care decisions. The changes to Indiana’s system resulted in 35 percent lower health care spending for enrolled employees. If a system like this were implemented nationally, it’s estimated the savings could reach $2.4 trillion annually across individuals, businesses, and government.

Wisconsin businesses and government are currently absorbing the ever-increasing costs of a non-transparent health care market, while consumers have no idea how much anything health care-related costs. Proponents of socialized medicine will tell you that a government takeover of health care will absolve businesses of a growing portion of their cost structure. That may be true temporarily, but not for long. Ultimately, politicians will be there to take back the savings through taxation.

Instead of forcing us down a path of further fiscal ruin, policies that promote price transparency can be used in concert with high risk insurance pools (which existed in Wisconsin before Obamacare) in order to lower costs, protect quality and ensure that these with pre-existing conditions have access to health care.

You cannot enforce savings through government control and mandates; that’s socialism, and it necessarily constricts supply, quality or both. Price transparency and rational choices are the only sensible way forward when it comes to health care.

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