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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

After Obamacare: What Republicans Must Do To Reform Healthcare

By Mike Portillo

Things certainly could not be any worse for President Obama’s signature reform.  Thirty States have sued to stop the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare.  The Supreme Court appears to be leaning towards a decision that will overturn Obamacare.  Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has said time and again that his first order of business as president would be to repeal Obamacare.  Anyone can see that the writing is on the proverbial wall and Obamacare’s days are numbered.  The law will fall one way or another and that is a great victory for the American people. 

In terms of political capital, the GOP stands to gain from the fall of Obamacare.  The passage and enactment of this gargantuan law has led many average Americans to wake up to the fact that the Democratic Party has become the party of a huge, overbearing, progressive government consuming both tax dollars and borrowed money as if it was being served up at an all-you-can-eat endless buffet (not to be confused with the Buffet Rule). 

However, the memory of the modern American has become very short as the 24 hour news cycle becomes the 24 second news cycle and twitter trends rise and fall faster than Bank of America stock (anyone remember Kony2012?  Didn’t think so).  Americans exist in an age of instant gratification.  Due to this fact, the anger of modern Americans spurred on by perceived inaction may also be enflamed in a very short period of time (how long does it take you to get mad about a line that isn’t moving at the store?).  This is why Republicans must not be satisfied with merely undoing Obamacare.  They must not be satisfied with a measly touchdown, they need to go for thetwo point conversion and continue to lead in the important issue of healthcare, one that has tended to be a winner for Democrats in recent years.

If the Republican Party is to convince the American people that they care and have real solutions to problems facing every day Americans; solutions that do not involve reducing freedom, wasting tax dollars, and increasing the size of government, then they need to have a plan ready to put before the American people the day that Obamacare is no more.  This plan must be comprehensive and address the real concerns facing average Americans.  I have been researching this issue and I have been unable to find a recent comprehensive GOP plan that is ready to be put before the American people the day after Obamacare is undone.   Here are my suggestions:

·        One of the most popular provisions of Obamacare is the ability that parents have to keep their children on their insurance accounts until age 26.  As more and more young adults are staying home after age 18, retuning to school, and working part-time due to the weak economy this provision has polled very well.  Losing this provision as part of a repeal of Obamacare would be unpopular amongst young adults as well as their parents.  One of the three largest segments of uninsured individuals in the United States are young adults aged 18-25.  In 2010 nearly 73% of young adults were uninsured.   The GOP should seize and expand upon this issue by allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance plans until age 29. 

·        Pre-Existing Conditions requirements are another major issue tackled by Obamacare.  This provision polls well and must be included in any comprehensive GOP healthcare reform plan.  Insurers should not be allowed to reject patients based on Pre-Existing conditions as they are the ones who typically need coverage the most and if they are rejected they will remain as part of the 40-50 million Americans without health coverage. This does present a cost issue which will be addressed shortly.

·        Combine the three medical spending accounts (Flex Spending, Health Savings, and Reimbursement) into one tax-exempt Personal Medical Account (PMA). Eliminate the cap on contributions to this account.

·        Create a 100% dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the cost of purchasing a plan out of pocket.  This will incentivize contract employees, entrepreneurs, and other self-employed individuals to purchase healthcare coverage for themselves and their families.

See more of Mike Portillo here  ........... TheConservativeMinority.com/rightminority 

About the Author: Mike Portillo is an experienced manager working for both Fortune 50 companies and mid-sized corporations.  He also teaches college courses and volunteers his time for causes he believes in.  Mike holds a Master’s Degree in Management from theUniversity of Redlands and a Master’s Degree in Education from Pepperdine University. As an American of Hispanic heritage, Mike engages the minority population in the United States through discussion, social media, and debate in an effort to help them understand and embrace the conservative values that made our nation great.

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