Obamacare: Good Politics is Not Good Government

Affordable Care Act

Obamacare: Good Politics is Not Good Government

Published on January 25, 2016

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Good Healthcare Politics Doesn’t Make Good Healthcare Policy – By Gary Lauer, CEO and Chairman of eHealth, Inc.
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Middle-class Americans are struggling to pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but our leaders seem more interested in playing politics than solving real problems.
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Republicans sent a bill to President Obama’s desk that would eliminate the requirement for most Americans to have health insurance, even though they knew the President would veto it.
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Meanwhile, Democrats talk only about the law’s many victories, while refusing to sponsor smart changes to the law that could fix its many flaws.
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Maybe that’s just good politics, but it’s certainly not good government.
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When our elected representatives can only focus on winning the argument about health reform, middle-class Americans are the losers.
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My company has helped nearly 5 million people get covered. What we hear from the thousands of consumers we interact with every day, is not that they want the freedom to be uninsured. What they want is health coverage that’s affordable – especially if they don’t qualify for subsidies.
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They want affordable health insurance that meets their personal needs rather than the overpriced, one-size-fits-all coverage required under the Affordable Care Act.
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I recently published a simple, three-point plan that would go a long way toward solving the Affordable Care Act’s problems. You can read it at eHealth.com/taxfairness
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STEP 1: It starts by giving middle-class Americans a tax deduction when they buy their own health insurance. Large, U.S. corporations enjoy this benefit today. Making heath insurance tax deductible for everyone will level the field for middle-class individuals and families who buy their own health insurance.
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STEP 2: Next, I call for more flexible benefit guidelines so that individuals and families aren’t required to pay for services they don’t want or use, like maternity care or drug and alcohol abuse treatment. This will give consumers more choices.
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STEP 3: Finally, I want to replace Obamacare’s “free” preventive benefits (benefits shockingly few people use) that drive up the cost of coverage. Instead, let’s reward patients who achieve health goals set by their doctor by giving them discounted deductibles or monthly premiums.
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In a presidential election year, when every candidate claims to be the champion for the middle-class, no one is speaking out about the high cost of health insurance that so many Americans are facing.
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Instead of campaigning and offering sound bites, lawmakers need to embrace commonsense solutions that offer a way forward for the vast majority of middle-class Americans.

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