False choicesIn the debate on healthcare we are being given a false choice. We are told we must either accept giant corporations controlling our healthcare system or turn the entire system over to the Federal Government to control. My opponent is currently pushing a plan for a complete government takeover, also known as socialized medicine.
Washington Democrats are doubling down on the disaster of Obamacare, by eliminating all private options for health insurance. Establishment Republicans are doubling down on the status quo by propping up corporate monopolies. Why must we choose only from these two options when neither will work?
How about we put people back in charge of their own healthcare?
When the people of Maine send me to Congress, I will present my two-pronged plan for bringing free market principles back into the healthcare market. My plan will increase access and affordability by cutting out the middleman and allowing the patient to be a customer again.
My Plan to Personalize Healthcare
Every successful business operates on the principle that the customer is always right.
- Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) –-- My plan would give individuals the same tax benefit for paying into an HSA as they do when using an old-fashioned insurance provider.
This would empower American people to directly pay for routine healthcare services, without having to pay an insurance middleman, while retaining a more affordable, low premium plan for catastrophic events.
- Personalize Medicaid --- The American taxpayers pay 1/2 trillion dollars every year into an incredibly ineffective Medicaid program. It traps people in poverty with steep welfare cliffs. It empowers government and corporate bureaucracies to control their healthcare, treating patients like products on an assembly line.
My plan would cut out the middlemen and put Medicaid funds directly into Health Savings Accounts controlled by the beneficiary, empowering patients to directly engage with doctors for routine care and purchase their own affordable, low-premium insurance plans for catastrophic events.
Eliminate the Welfare Cliff --- Under the current “all or nothing” model of Medicaid, you can lose your healthcare coverage for accepting a raise at work. This steep welfare cliff traps people in poverty, instead of giving them the hand up they need. By personalizing Medicaid, we eliminate the welfare cliff --- making benefits scalable with income and disability --- providing people a ladder so they can take that raise at work and climb up.
Reward Shopping and Saving --- Funds rollover from year-to-year, so patients are rewarded when they shop for the best value on routine healthcare needs.
- A Real Marketplace --- For too long, the healthcare system has revolved around the needs of insurance companies and government bureaucrats, instead of patients.
By expanding Health Savings Accounts and Personalizing Medicaid, there will be a huge expansion of empowered Americans acting as direct customers for routine healthcare. That means doctors and providers will be freed to focus on the needs of patients --- high quality healthcare with affordable and transparent prices..
With the bureaucratic burden of medical billing lifted off much of the healthcare marketplace, independent medical practices will return and be able to compete again with the giant hospital systems, creating more access and affordability for patients.
More government keeps making things worse. How did we get here?To understand the best path forward for Maine people, it’s helpful to first understand how we got into this mess.
In healthcare, the 20th Century was dominated by third-party payers — insurance companies and massive government bureaucracies — charging exorbitant premiums and taxes in order to provide inadequate healthcare that doesn’t cater to the needs of patients. Today… we are still stuck living under this system. It’s time for change!
Over the last century, we have endured countless rounds of government “fixes” to our healthcare system, each one adding new layers of bureaucracy and further entrenching the established middlemen. You would think, given the number of government “solutions” we have endured, our healthcare system would be better than ever... but it only seems to get worse.
When Maine people speak with me about their healthcare, I quickly hear about the problems in our system. Many with health insurance are paying sky-rocketing premiums for inadequate coverage. Those without insurance never know what the giant hospital bill is going to be. Those under Medicaid have long wait times and are shuffled around for appointments, which last for all of five minutes before they are shown the door.
This system isn’t working. Maine people know it --- but we’ve been here before. Every time the people are ready for reform, the politicians unveil “new” proposals that are always more of the same: another transfer of power over our healthcare system from patients to the entrenched interests. This time it is being called “Medicare for All” and many well-meaning American people, knowing that something needs to change, are receptive to this false bill of goods.
But the answer is not Socialized Medicine, putting the government in charge. The answer is to Personalize Medicine, putting the people in charge.