ACA Marks 6th Anniversary As One of Worst Policy Disasters in U.S. History

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March 21, 2016

ACA Marks 6th Anniversary As One of Worst Policy Disasters in U.S. History

  Institute for Policy Innovation

DALLAS – This week marks the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, one of the country’s worst public policy disasters.

“The president has had almost nothing but bad health care news since the legislation passed,” said Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews. “From the disastrous rollout, to dramatically higher premiums, to millions of cancelled policies, to underperforming on the promised number of newly insured Americans, to health insurers losing hundreds of millions of dollars, to frequent reports of rampant fraud and abuse.  And after spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, a recent study found that only about 15 percent of the public has benefited from his boondoggle.”
And while the three remaining Republican presidential candidates call for repealing the ACA, none of their campaigns offer a comprehensive, market-based alternative that empowers patients to make their own health care decisions.  
In “Ten Steps For a Market-Oriented Health Care System,” Matthews identifies the key components to increase access, lower costs and improve quality of care. 
“The two biggest problems in U.S. health care are the convoluted economic incentives in which patients don’t seek value for their health care dollars, and the tax treatment of health care, which has created an employer-based health insurance system. Workers don’t get to choose their policy and then lose it when changing jobs,” said Matthews.
The solution is to move to a market-based alternative that embraces the following principles, says Matthews:
1. Establish tax fairness;
2. Expand consumer-driven options, such as HSAs;
3. Cap the tax deduction for health insurance;
4. Provide help for low-income families;
5. Create a safety net for the uninsurables;
6. Privatize Medicare;
7. Give vets and Medicaid recipients vouchers;
8. Allow cross-state health insurance purchases;
9. Promote malpractice reform; and
10. Shrink the Department of Health and Human Services.  
Patients can and will make good choices when the right economic incentives are in place, says Matthews. By embracing a consumer-driven health care alternative, the U.S. will begin the process of creating a patient-centered system.

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