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ACA (ObamaCare) and AHCA (TrumpCare) No Match for....

Posted by Joe Antle on May 22, 2017 7:45 PM EDT
Joe  Antle photo

...this cool acronym.  Introducing the best acronym for the health reform policy that can dramatically transform the American healthcare system's cost and quality crisis.  Drum roll.......

....it's the AHA (Accountable Health Act).

Let me start out by saying that I have read with amusement and amazement the constant cry of how the government can create policies that will drive health reform.  Yet, none of them deal with the real issue-which is not "healthcare reform" or "health insurance" reform.

It's HEALTH reform.  Simple as that.

The ACA (Affordable Care Act), highly touted as ObamaCare and the one major policy success of President Obama, focused enormous government subsidies on people with lower incomes.  For this plan, which has been by most practical measures a huge failure, is one of the few bright spots of the Democratic party's reign.  It created gvoernment subsidized cost saving incentives for patently unhealthy people to get lower cost insurance by placing much emphasis on pre-existing conditions not being penalized or excluded from insurance plans.  And it never put any incentive towards people being healthier.

The AHCA (American Health Care Act) is he Republican party's poorly designed and articulated answer to the healthcare crisis.  It places government incentives on age as the key driver of lower cost health insurance.  While falling short of the ambitious "repeal and replace" war cry, it simply shifts the burden of health care costs reductions on another class of insureds whose healthcare costs are way more than the population as a whole-older citizens.

So, my proposal is to implement the Accountable Health Act (AHA- get it "A-HA"!).  Anyway, I digress...

The Accountable Health Act places incentives in three basic places,all which have enormous influence on health care costs both in the near term and in the long term.  The objective of this reform, which is health reform, is to place government-backed incentives on people either staying healthy, getting healthier or doing specific things in the area of physical and emotional health that will lower both longer and short term health care costs.  The three areas of incentives are based on health improvement and personally reducing one's reliance on health care or personally reducing one's claim costs by being a better and healthier consumer of health care products and services.

So, another drum roll please, here are the three areas for incentives:

-Provide government financial incentives for reduing health care spending-pay a subsidy to individuals who have actually lowered their heatlhcare costs from one year to another.  Pay the individuals the savings and reduce their premiums the following year by the same %.

-Provide government financial incentives to individuals who are doing the right things that will lower their overall costs of longer term healthcare (eat well, exercise often, manage emotional wellbeing)

-Provide government financial incentives to individuals who help cover the costs of healthier living by having the government match the dollars that individuals spend to help support the costs of other individuals.  Here the incentives accrue to those who help each other help themselves live healthier lives and make smart healthcare consumer purchase decisions.

Hillary Clinton was wrong on many fronts.  And she gave up on her efforts to transform the healthcare system with her own version of a health reform bill. But on one very big point she was absolutely right:-"IT TAKES A VILLAGE".

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