Mitch McConnell: At least half his brain is working.

McConnell actually said it!  That’s a start.

Mitch McConnell made half of a brilliant statement today. It was the smartest thing he’s said in years. Sadly, he wrecked it all with the other half of his statement. But we’ll just stay with the smart half for now.

He said that it is time to vote to just repeal Obamacare. That’s brilliant. The free market always did a better job at creating a medical insurance product, selling that product and administering it, than the government EVER did.

Before you get your little panties in a wad and saying , “Well, what about pre-existing conditions and high deductibles…blah-blah…” I will remind you that the problem with government interfering with health insurance goes back way beyond Obamacare.   We have been on the road to total government healthcare for decades.

Photo Credit: KAZVorpal Flickr via Compfight cc

The government, often with the help of corrupt union leaders, has been bullying or enticing insurance companies to rip off their customers since the 1960’s. Back then, the unions had only just succeeded in using class envy to get medical benefits added to their contracts. It seemed like a good idea at the time to a lot of people. Back then you worked for IBM or GM from the day you graduated college until the day you retired. So, if you took medical benefits in lieu of money because taxes were insane, that was a convenient benefit for working at IBM. If you got medical benefits working the line at a GM plant “because all those rich executives got it so you should too,” well that was pretty easy too.

Sadly, within a decade, spending a lifetime at the same job went the way of the buggy whip. Also, the government had found a popular toilet through which to flush their shitty ideas.

For example, someone wants nosebleeds covered by their “catastrophic” medial protection (health insurance policy), Senator Douche goes on a tear and declares that all policies should cover nosebleeds, and stitches and birth control, etc. “Yay,” says an ignorant population. “reelect Senator Douche! He loves us.” Of course, the insurance companies have to do two things. Raise rates and create or increase deductibles to pay for all of the Douche requirements.

AND since raising rates threatens their competitiveness, they need Sen. Douche to add n amendment that only one or two insurance companies should be allowed to sell insurance in certain states or regions. Can’t have all the competition offering the same service for a lower price now, can you?

The story goes on, but you get the picture. Obamacare was just an acceleration of what was going on for years. The insurance companies would love to be rid of all the regulation and Senator Douche altogether. But until they are, we have what we have.

For years congress has been passing legislation to repeal Obamacare. They would go home and tell their constituents they did their duty.

But then near the election and after, as I pointed out then, they started to say repeal and replace. AND, as I pointed out, there was no conceivable “replace” they would create that wasn’t just as ridiculous as Obamacare.

If we simply repeal Obamacare right now real insurance companies would need about two hours to create the outline of a plan to create REAL insurance. In a month they would be able to unveil a plan that would cover what insurance is supposed to cover for pennies on the dollar.

But they can’t be hamstrung with mandates. And they would need open border competition.

THEN you would see the price of REAL insurance drop like a rock.

But you would have to do your part! Take care of yourself and your family!

 Sadly, too many people would want to cling to multiple thousand-dollar premiums and multiple thousand-dollar co-pays and deductibles, because you are told, they cover everything. But the policies insurance companies could write without the government on running their businesses would leave more than you would need to cover common allergies, common childhood illness, minor injuries and certainly birth control along with all the other little things that are not bets, but sure things. [See insurance as a bet here] or in my book, below.

People have to be smarter about what is good for them. They also need to be more responsible. If you are poor (I mean REAL poor, not $98,000–per-year-family-of-four “poor”) and you got sick, you were covered. Medicaid, looong before Obama came along, paid for your treatment.

But again, Medicaid is not insurance. It is a government give-away originally intended for truly poor people. When the DC swamp creatures point out how many people were shoehorned onto Medicaid and say, “look how many more people are insured,” they are touting a lie. By running up the qualification for Medicaid to 400% of the poverty line, you simply voted away more money from the makers and gave it to the takers. At the same time you create yet another incentive for people to become takers.

This is how you fix insurance and make it truly fair and ethical:

  • Repeal Obamacare
  • Don’t tell insurance companies what coverage they can or cannot sell. They will be in the business of making money. They will provide coverage that goes from just catastrophic for a very low price (1/4 or what we you pay now) to complete coverage of everything, which will cost you a pretty penny; almost as much as a shitty Obamacare mandated policy. And of course, there will be gradients of coverage in between.
  • Remove all impediments to competition. There are two reasons insurance rates ran up prior to Obamacare. Compliance to regulations, most of which were a complete waste of time and have NOTHING to do with healthcare or paying for it. The second biggest reason was that large established companies, in exchange for bribe money paid through K Street, were protected from competition. So they could charge as mush as they needed or wanted to. By letting all companies with the means to meet their coverage obligations to compete everywhere, you bring down costs precipitously. By eliminating the stifling, useless regulations you bring it down even further.
  • Tort reform. No jackpot justice. Legal recourse for malpractice was never intended to ruin good doctors. But there is an incentive to get into court for a hangnail. So doctors practice defensive medicine and have to pay HUGE premiums to protect themselves from real mistakes, litigious vultures, and the scum bag lawyers that represent them.
  • Smart insurance companies, not the government should require hospitals to PUBLISH their prices for treatment. (Don’t say it can’t be done. The hospital knows exactly what it will charge for every single procedure. It’s just a case of hitting the print button.)
  • Smart insurance companies, not the government, should require that hospitals offer the patient the option of paying cash for a procedure to keep their premiums low. That is almost always a huge discount and makes the policyholder a great bet for the insurance company.
  • Make it clear citizens should protect themselves. Get insurance while you are healthy. If you wait until you are sick and then demand someone pay for you, there should real and natural consequences.
    • We’ll take the family of four.
      • Firstly, any man who would create a family and, even under this stupid Obamacare burden, not protect that family from medical catastrophe, is not a man. But be that as it may…
    • Our family of four is living at 400% of the poverty level. At $98,000 per year, they can afford a really nice house and two cars.
    • We’ll say the parents don’t choose to insure themselves or their kids. A parent, or child gets chronically ill. That’s a tragedy. BUT…
    • Now they are scrambling to get insurance to pay for the illness. Maybe the local news picks up the story. We see mommy crying, holding the sickling. The reporter gravely says what a terrible thing it is that they cannot get insurance for their little one.
    • Why, there ought to be a law! Right?

Wrong! This is the lie of Obamacare and all the defenses of it. Before we should be required to spend a dime of other people’s money on this situation, this family, because they were not responsible earlier, should have to divest itself of material goods in favor of taking care of there own. It would have been REAL insurance that would have prevented this reality. But I don’t pay taxes so that a comfortable, middle class family can keep their house and cars AND get their medical expanses paid all at the same time; this AFTER they avoided their own responsibilities. No one should pay taxes for that!

Having done what they could, should they approach actual poverty, well then by all means, Medicaid would be there for them. Medicaid does not exist so people can live a consequence-free life and when the chips are down, then cash in on our tax money.

With this as the model, people would a) see the sense in buying a policy while they are young and healthy, or b) pay for their decisions and be picked up later.

But…sniff, sniff…what if the child dies in the meantime? Sniff, sniff.

We’ll address this obvious canard in our next piece.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics:  It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!