Want to spend less to get less? It would be your choice, not the government's.

Trump proposes expanding access to cheaper health insurance plans that leave out some ObamaCare requ

By —— Bio and Archives--February 21, 2018

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Trump proposes expanding access to cheaper health insurance plans that leave out some ObamaCare requirements
We’ve talked many times here about the fundamental flaws in the ObamaCare economic model. Chief among them is the fact that it denied people the choice not only of whether to buy health insurance (although that’s now been rectified), but also of how much health insurance to buy.

If you don’t think it’s worth it to pay a higher premium for coverage of all kinds of things you are unlikely to ever use, some left-wing know-it-alls might sit there and call you a fool. But it’s your choice, not theirs. At least it should be. You might calculate that you’re better off spending less on premiums to focus your coverage on care that is actually relevant to you. That’s your call, not the call of some “expert” and certainly not of the government.

Yet ObamaCare is the law, and ObamaCare says it’s not your call at all.

Except that ObamaCare does give wide latitude for the executive branch to draft rules about this, and the Trump Administration is now proposing to alter existing rules to give individuals more latitude about what they have to buy to remain in compliance:

The proposed regulations would expand an alternative to the comprehensive medical plans required under former President Barack Obama’s health law. Individuals could buy so-called “short-term” policies for up to 12 months. But the coverage would omit key consumer protections and offer fewer benefits, making it unattractive for older people or those with health problems.

The plans would come with a disclaimer that they don’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s safeguards, such as guaranteed coverage, ten broad classes of benefits, and limits on how much older adults have to pay. Insurers could also charge more if a consumer’s medical history discloses health problems.

Nonetheless, administration officials said they believe the short-term option will be welcomed by people who need an individual health insurance policy but don’t qualify for the ACA’s income-based subsidies.

Those in this largely middle-class crowd make too much for subsidies and have absorbed years of price hikes. Some say they now face monthly, mortgage-size payments of well over $1,000 for health insurance. Then they usually have to pay a deductible of several thousand dollars. Research indicates the uninsured rate among these customers is growing.

“If you are not subsidized, the options can be really unaffordable for folks,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters. The administration estimates monthly premiums for a short-term plan could be about than one-third of what a comprehensive policy costs.

Obviously the left will deride such policies as “cut-rate” or rip-offs or whatever. They always do when people decide they don’t want to buy what the left insists they must have. They will call it “TrumpCare” and claim the whole point is not to provide you any care at all.

But the way ObamaCare is set up, far too many Americans who don’t qualify for subsidies are nonetheless forced to buy policies they can’t afford in order to be covered for things they don’t need. That’s the fundamental problem with health insurance, and why it doesn’t work like other types of insurance.

My liability insurance policy on my car costs me some money every month, but if I didn’t have it and I was found liable for even one accident, it would almost certainly cost me more than several years’ worth of premiums on my policy. That’s why the policy is a good value.

With health insurance, almost everyone spends more for their policy than they would if they simply paid for their own health care out of pocket. People don’t understand this because they’re shielded from the true cost of care by third-party payers, but insurers and health care providers understand it very well. That’s why they offer deep discounts to cash payers without even being asked. They jack the prices when insurers are paying, because the insurers have deep pockets and will pay. But the true cost of the care you receive is far less than they charge the insurers, and far less than you’re paying for your policy premiums - unless you have a catastrophic health need, in which case you could have insured against that need without being forced to pay a gold-plated premium for a gold-plated policy that covers everything under the sun you will never need and never use.

Liberal know-it-alls will counter that you never know what condition might befall you, and that’s true. But insurance is a question of protection against risk, and every individual can decide for himself or herself how much to invest in protection against which risks. Anything could happen to me, but I’m not going to insure against things that are extremely unlikely. And it’s not the government’s business to take away my right to make that calculation.

Kudos to the Trump Administration for recognizing that. The real solution to this remains the complete repeal of ObamaCare, but at least until Congress decides to finally do its job, the White House is doing what it can to lighten the load imposed by the “Affordable” Care Act.

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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com

A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.

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