Fixing “Obamacare” Requirements Really Isn’t That Difficult, Though it’s Far From Perfect

president-obama-obamacareFor a few weeks now the big story has been the rough rollout of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).   Sure, the website was the first major story that got people worked up, but it’s been the story where some individuals have had their current insurance plans cancelled that’s really angered many Americans.

The reason many of these plans have been cancelled is mostly due to the fact many of them were deemed substandard by the requirements set forth by “Obamacare.”

Now, I get the reason why the Affordable Care Act would aim to set a new standard for health care coverage.  The law is predicated on the fact that not only will it require people to purchase insurance, it requires people to purchase insurance that provides more comprehensive coverage than many previously had.

Which again has led to the cancellation of quite a few policies.

Personally, I don’t see why this is such a complicated issue — it just requires compromise.

Change the Affordable Care Act to cover the major issues every American might face.  Things like mental health issues, hospital stays, prescription drug coverage, pre-existing conditions — you get the idea.  Basically, things which every single one of us regardless of gender or age might face.

Then you turn other coverage options into add-ons for people who might want to purchase them — things such as maternity care or pediatric services.  If someone chooses not to pay for maternity coverage, well — then they’re not covered.

Is it really fair that a single individual with no kids (let’s say a male or female who can’t have children) is forced to pay for maternity or pediatric care?  Again, I get why they’re a requirement, but that’s why I propose (for now at least) making these add-ons to policies.

Though if you are a parent to a minor child, pediatric care should become a requirement.

It’s like car insurance.  For many Americans they only have liability insurance.  If they choose not to have full coverage, then total their vehicle in an accident that was their fault, they’re left dealing with the costs of replacing their vehicle themselves.

However, turning some health coverage into options would require some level of commitment to pay into it.  If you sign up you agree to pay for a predetermined number of years.  This is the reason why the mandate was extremely important.  We can’t require full coverage for everyone if we allow people to “insurance hop,” purchasing insurance only when they need it.  The same would go for coverage such as maternity care.  We can’t have people not paying for it, adding it once they get pregnant, then dropping it as soon as they don’t need it.

If it’s going to be optional, it would almost certainly require some kind of “contracted” number of years each individual would agree to pay for the coverage.

I’m not saying this is a perfect fix, because there are holes in it as well.  What about unplanned pregnancies?  Well, people who fear that possibly happening might want to purchase maternity coverage.

Because until we get true universal health care we’re basically solving one issue by causing another.  A premium drop for some often means a premium hike for others.

This is the problem with a for-profit health care system.  We’re putting the health of Americans in the hands of companies that want to make money from our illnesses .  Companies that want to find ways to not to provide treatment if they can.  You really think these insurance companies want to provide good, affordable treatment?  They want profits—period.

So until we address that problem, we’re basically plugging up one hole while potentially creating another.

Which is basically what I’ve proposed here.  Loosening some of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act by making some coverage available as add-ons instead of across the board requirements.  This would prevent many of the cancellations Americans have experienced, but it would still undoubtedly lead to some plans being cancelled.

It’s not the perfect fix, but like I said before, it’ll at least solve a few of the issues we’re currently seeing with the Affordable Care Act rollout.

But again, the real answer to this whole problem is true universal health care.  Just like most every other modern country on the planet provides for its citizens.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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