Recent polls show that “healthcare is the No. 1 issue for voters,” writes Robert Pearl in Forbes. Their concerns are quite valid, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS): Costs are too high, most Americans can’t afford them, and they are not getting what they are paying for.
However, the fact that 57% cited “universal/single-payer coverage” as the issue of top concern shows that most have been deceived about the cause of the problem, states AAPS.
As Pearl points out, one reason for the rise in business’s health insurance premiums is cost-shifting, as insured patients pay more to compensate for Medicare underpayment. “So how can ‘Medicare for all’ solve this problem, which Medicare created?” AAPS asks.
Another reason for exorbitant premiums is the guaranteed issue/community rating mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and in several states, AAPS points out. Insurers are forced to overcharge low-risk individuals, who decline to buy the product if they can, driving premiums still higher.
Republican Senators propose to make the problem still worse with a bill codifying “protections” for all Americans with pre-existing conditions, AAPS warns, through an amendment to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
“Essentially, this would outlaw real health insurance, which is a voluntary contract to share risk, with premiums based on level of risk,” explains AAPS. “It’s a bill to force healthy Americans to pay more than their fair share if they are to obtain protection against their own unexpected costs.”
“It raises the constitutional issue of whether Congress can force an industry to sell only unprofitable, unaffordable products, and force Americans to subsidize other customers,” AAPS stated. “In casualty insurance, it would force companies to charge the same to insure a fire trap as a well-kept steel building.”
“If we wish to help people who have not continuously maintained insurance while they were healthy and can’t buy it at the same price after they get sick, we need a mechanism other than destroying insurance for all Americans,” AAPS states.
“Most of all, we need to drastically cut costs. These are some things that Americans are paying for unwillingly: kickbacks to Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) and Group Purchasing Organizations; cost-shifting because of Medicare and Medicaid price controls and underpayments; profits to Medicaid managed-care companies, which get paid whether anybody gets care or not; inflated prices because competition is squelched by Certificate-of-Need laws; layers of administrative costs to comply with massive overregulation; and much more. The best thing Congress can do now is remove privileges to special interests and enable competition,” concludes AAPS.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943. It has outlined a voluntary approach to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.