The Dire Impact of a 2016 Democratic Win on America’s Healthcare System
by Ben Weingarten for Encounter
Pacific Research Institute President Sally Pipes has published a timely new Encounter Broadside in light of the 2016 presidential election — The Way Out of Obamacare.
In the Broadside, the healthcare expert and free-market medicine advocate argues that the upcoming election will have a disproportionate impact on several critical elements of the American system by dint of the direction the new president takes on healthcare policy alone.
Here is a particularly poignant passage from The Way Out of Obamacare in which Pipes explains exactly what is at stake in 2016:
Following his victory in King v. Burwell, President Obama declared, “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”
But that may not be the case. If opponents of the law take Congress and the presidency, then the process for repealing and replacing Obamacare can begin in earnest on Jan. 20, 2017 — the day Obama leaves the White House.
Repealing Obamacare would have a positive effect on the economy. The Congressional Budget Office projects that repeal would increase GDP by 0.7 percent from 2021 to 2025. That translates to more than $117 billion in new economic activity.
Repeal would also remove more than a trillion dollars’ worth of spending commitments from the federal budget over the next decade. And it would finally allow policymakers to deconstruct the third-party, employer-based system that has accelerated the growth of health costs by offering “first-dollar coverage” for employees for decades.
There are several viable market-based plans for replacing Obamacare. All would rely on market forces to empower doctors and patients to take direct control of health care and drive down costs in the process.
The time for action will be soon. The longer our leaders wait, the more the law will become entrenched in American society and difficult to unwind. Government intrusion into the health care marketplace will increase until Americans are the unwitting victims of a government-run Medicare-for-all system.
Indeed, President Obama’s would-be heirs are already advocating such a future. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton rolled out her plan for Obamacare 2.0 in late September 2015. In addition to her proposed tax credits, she’d require insurance companies to cover three visits to the doctor per year outside any deductible. Clinton also proposes federalizing insurance-rate review for states that do not adequately modify or block premium hikes.
She has called for new government price controls on prescription drugs too. Clinton would give Medicare the power to negotiate prices directly with drug manufacturers. Given the size of the Medicare market, the government doesn’t negotiate prices — it dictates them.
Clinton’s plan would also cap monthly prescription-drug spending at $250 for those with chronic conditions — and allow Americans to import price-controlled medications from other countries.
Such moves would essentially freeze medical progress — and lead to shortages and rationing of critical medicines, as is common in countries with single-payer systems that directly control drug prices.
Senator Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., meanwhile, has promised to implement a full-fledged single-payer health care system if elected president. The cost? A cool $15 trillion over 10 years.
The American people must stop the march toward single-payer. Repealing and replacing Obamacare will set the groundwork for a freer, happier, and more prosperous nation.
For more from Pipes’ new broadside, be sure to listen to our in-depth interview below:
Click here for more on The Way Out of Obamacare.
Ben Weingarten is a writer, podcaster, and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and publication services firm. You can find his work at benweingarten.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Previously, Ben was publishing manager and editor of TheBlaze Books, host and producer of TheBlaze Books podcast, and a frequent Blaze contributor focusing on defense, economics, politics, and history. Prior to joining TheBlaze, he worked as a financial advisor specializing in bankruptcies and restructurings. Ben is a graduate of Columbia University, where he majored in economics-political science and contributed to outlets including the Breitbart sites and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. In 2015 he was selected as a Publius Fellow to the Claremont Institute.