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Government And Corporations Are Colluding To Kill Our Nation’s Health Care

Our health care system is an insurance-run, government-dictated bureaucratic racket.

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In the past year, health insurance premiums have skyrocketed more than 24 percent — the highest recorded one-year increase.

America’s health care industry has a big problem on the horizon — namely that Americans do not trust “Big Health Care” with their personal health decisions. One silver lining to the Covid pandemic is that it lifted the veil of the public health bureaucracy, behind which lies a bloated, unaccountable, and opulent industry comprised of public health “experts,” Big Pharma, insurance companies, and large hospital corporations. But this problem presents us with a world of opportunity through its very simple solution: health care freedom.

Let’s start with how we got into this mess. Our health care system has evolved into an insurance-run, government-dictated bureaucratic racket that creates problems funded by the government and paid for with your tax dollars.

Historically, the American medical industry — built on cornerstones of a strong personal relationship between doctor and patient, the incentive of free enterprise, and freedom of choice — has propelled world-changing innovations and provided the best medical care on Earth. Yet today, this system prevents Americans from accessing the very medical miracles it offers by jacking up prices for care that “insurance” plans won’t cover.

It’s not because the Big Health Care corporatists just woke up one morning and decided to put health care out of reach. It’s because years of government regulation and the concentration of power into the hands of large corporations have marginalized doctors and patients. Setting aside the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, at least 10 major federal health care bills were signed into law between 1982 and 2010. These “reforms” imposed massive regulations on our health care system, creating an alphabet soup of government constraints — from UMRA to HIPAA, from EMTALA to COBRA — that have been squeezing out innovation and competition for years.

Most Americans Are Paying More for Health Care

The so-called “Affordable” Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), passed in 2010, doubled down on the dysfunction in the name of “covering people” by offering insurance companies (as well as hospitals, Big Pharma, and other middlemen) billions of dollars every year to “insure” Americans to the government’s specifications. And though politicians sold the American people “affordable” health care, the truth is that those subsidies only resulted in a small minority of Americans paying less. Most Americans paid more, and they continue to do so. The result is a crony system that works for everyone except patients and doctors.

The government incentivizes hospitals to increase prices (using opaque agreements) because they can rely on insurance to pay them out, and because insurance receives a steady flow of government cash, they too increase their premiums to account for the artificially inflated “high cost” of health care. This corporate cronyism system also hikes up your drug costs. Pharma companies list prices high because they know insurance companies will pay the cost — the higher the price, the higher the payout, the higher the profit. This benefits insurance companies, which reel in patients because of high prices by telling them that by buying their insurance they’ll only have to pay a fraction of the price. Then, when insurance “pays for” the drug through pharmaceutical benefit managers, the insurer takes a cut of the transaction.

What do Americans get out of this? Restricted “access” to the greatest medical care in the world, and a lot of well-compensated politicians. Meanwhile, health insurance companies take in roughly $1 trillion per year. In 2016, 60 percent of the nation’s top five health insurers’ revenue ($213.1 billion) came from Medicare and Medicaid (up from $92.5 billion in 2010). In 2020, Medicare spending grew to $829.5 billion (up from $523 billion in 2010) and Medicaid spending grew to $671.2 billion (up from $404.1 billion in 2010). Big Pharma is making billions on the back of this system as well. For example, thanks to Covid-19 shot mandates and a tireless public relations campaign, Pfizer and Moderna are projected to make more than $93 billion in combined Covid-19 vaccine sales in 2022.

American companies making money isn’t the problem here; that’s how economies work. The problem is these corporations are exploiting Americans in collusion with the government through a broken system, and their profiteering is ruining our health care system and country.

This expensive, broken health care system is also driving our national debt. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that annual national health spending will reach nearly $6.8 trillion by 2030. The Employer Sponsored Insurance exclusion — the single largest government tax expenditure — costs roughly $280 billion every year. It incentivizes employers to provide expensive insurance plans to employees — which are not portable, and cost employees an average of $6,000 for family coverage for a plan that costs more than $22,000. Then employers make up the difference by cutting wages and writing it off!

The Answer Is Freedom

It doesn’t have to be this way; it shouldn’t. The answer isn’t more government. The answer is freedom.

It’s up to Congress to fix the incentives to allow all care providers to compete for patients, and allow all Americans tax-free spending in health care. Most crucially, Congress must also rebuild the doctor-patient relationship and provide more options and better access to quality care. I introduced H.R. 9160, the Health Care Freedom Act, to achieve those things and to unleash massive consumer power to flood the health care industry with innovation and open competition to lower prices for everyone. This is what health care freedom looks like.

Unfortunately, this plan will require politicians willing to fix the system they broke. Politicians who are willing to take arrows from powerful companies in their backyards, Americans programmed to lobby about “pre-existing conditions” in the halls of Congress, and medical associations that profit from the system. Everyone is a walking pre-existing condition; but that term is mostly a fraud, binding us to a government-created problem rather than focusing on the provision of care for all Americans and the best way to pay for it.

The most important reality that the ACA reinforced in our broken health care system is that coverage simply does not equal care. While my life was saved by the incredible doctors at the MD Anderson Cancer Center when I had stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma (in 2011, before the full effects of the ACA), under the insurance “coverage” I was offered by the House of Representatives’ Obamacare plan, I wouldn’t be able to go back to MD Anderson! In fact, no Texan on such a plan can. This is all while corporations rake in billions on the back of our tax dollars. Every politician in D.C. knows this — including the Democrats who shoved Obamacare through Congress on a partisan vote. That’s obvious when those very Democrats push for destructive proposals such as “Medicare for All,” even though government involvement and regulation created the problems Americans face today.

But that pursuit of universal “coverage” will cost us in dollars and quality of care. Instead, we should expand personal health savings accounts to let everyone save tax-free money for direct care (where doctors and patients cut out the middlemen and do business directly) or a plan of choice. Employers could even contribute directly to employee accounts, with the ability to choose the best care and plan option and keep it even during job transitions. This will empower doctors and care facilities to offer more direct care options and help modernize our government programs by creating similar private models. Direct medical care models offer many services for a fraction of the price of the current Big Health Care system. This model works for specialists and hospitals as well. For example, a knee replacement at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma costs $18,000 compared to the average hospital cost of roughly $50,000.

Covid-19 didn’t just expose the harmful decisions of overpowered public health officials; it demonstrated how government-corporate health care collusion is killing doctor-and-patient-driven health care. Free-thinking Americans, doctors, scientists, and innovative companies are better trusted with our health care than corporate or government bureaucrats. It’s time to release Americans from this broken system. It’s time for health care freedom.


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