President-elect Donald Trump has already issued a “Contract with the American Voter” and has vowed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.
And those who advocate for health freedom and patient privacy are holding him to it.
Among them is Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), which has long called for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), rather than replacing it with another plan that is bogged down with federal controls and does not return health freedom to patients and doctors.
Now that he has been elected, President-elect Trump should work to repeal Obamacare without delay. Waiting for agreement on replacement would lead to disaster. Constitutionally, health care should be returned to the states; we don’t need another federally controlled plan. And this should be done quickly as a main priority in President Trump’s first 100 days in office.
Repeal is a very realistic possibility with a GOP-controlled House and Senate, but Obamacare is also a huge liability for Democrats. We had life before Obamacare; we can have life after Obamacare. Today, many people are looking at skyrocketing premiums they just can’t afford and are considering alternatives such as paying the penalty tax and not being covered at all. Obamacare has created a crisis, not a solution.
The problem with health care is that the government should not have been involved in the first place. To return affordability and freedom to patients and doctors, health care must head in a completely opposite direction — back to direct payments and indemnity insurance. Essentially, we need to go back to the future, one without all the costly interference, intrusions, regulations, and profiteering interlopers.
We hope President-elect Trump is truly committed to repealing Obamacare and it wasn’t an empty campaign promise. But to delay repeal because lawmakers can’t agree on a replacement squanders the precious time we have to be freed from this damaging health-care law. Ultimately, there may never be a repeal if we wait for a replacement. And unless the replacement returns health care to the states, we’d be trading in one version of federal control for another. The only “fix” is full repeal and returning health care to the states, which is required under the 10th Amendment.
Going forward, there are at least 10 things President-elect Trump should do until a repeal bill is signed, and especially if Congress resists repeal.
- Shut down any “risk corridor” bailouts for insurance companies.
- Return ACA “reinsurance” dollars to the U.S. Treasury, as the law requires.
- Require all members of Congress and their staff to enroll in Obamacare, as the law requires.
- Shut down any administrative plans to bail out insurers through lawsuit settlements.
- Put all 20,000-plus pages of Obamacare regulations on hold and begin to rescind them.
- Issue an executive order allowing all states to open or reopen their shuttered high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions.
- Issue a rule or executive order that would reopen the market to indemnity policies, the affordable catastrophic coverage that Obamacare outlawed for people age 30 and over.
- Require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to automatically accept every hardship waiver request, allowing Americans to escape the unaffordable individual mandate.
- Shut down Obamacare’s website, HealthCare.gov, for its longstanding privacy and security issues.
- Dismantle the federal health-insurance exchange program database, which gathers information on every Obamacare enrollee and stores it permanently for research and other uses.
Finally, as his first executive order after inauguration, President-elect Trump should rescind the federal regulation that forces Medicare-eligible Americans to enroll in Medicare Part A (hospitalization) or lose their Social Security payments. There’s no reason for private insurance to end at age 65. This is the first freedom he can return to all Americans — the freedom and the right to stay out of Medicare.
Twila Brase, RN, is president and co-founder of CCHF (www.cchfreedom.org), which says it is a patient-centered, national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota that exists to protect health-care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. This opinion piece is drawn from a news release CCHF issued on Nov. 14.