TrumpCare Beats ObamaCare GET QUOTE NOW
An encouraging expansion in private insurance coverage.
PHOTO:EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Many Republican voters were disappointed last year when U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona broke a campaign promise and scuttled efforts to repeal ObamaCare. This in turn made it extremely difficult for President Trump to keep his campaign promise to replace his predecessor’s health law with something beautiful. Now suddenly the health insurance market is looking much prettier.
Instead of a full repeal of ObamaCare in 2017, Mr. Trump was able to kill only the law’s requirement that individuals purchase health insurance. He did this via a provision in the tax cut legislation he enacted in December. But while many people didn’t realize it at the time, it turns out that Mr. Trump has been helping to improve an important source of insurance coverage since virtually the moment he took office.
By prioritizing economic growth and reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on U.S. business, Mr. Trump has helped to create an economy with more job openings than ever before. As if by magic, the invisible hand of a freer marketplace is now generating new benefits as employers compete to fill all those open positions.
The Journal recently reported:
For the first time in six years, the share of U.S. workers offered health insurance through their employer has risen, a sign a tighter labor market is prompting businesses to offer more generous benefits.
In March, 69% of private-sector employees were offered medical benefits from their employer, according to an annual survey the Labor Department released Friday. That’s up from 67% in 2017, and the first time the rate has increased since 2012…
“It’s likely tied to today’s strong labor market,” said Andrew Chamberlain, an economist at recruiting site Glassdoor. “With workers in a stronger bargaining position and employers doing whatever they can to attract scarce talent.”
Imagine that—an expansion of insurance coverage without a new federal program. It seems that in order to persuade workers to supply enough labor to meet business demand, companies are increasing overall compensation via expanded benefits. Amazing!
Some readers will no doubt view this as the most beautiful reform of all, because it doesn’t cost the Treasury a nickel. Mr. Trump’s burgeoning reform is also superior to that of his predecessor because it has not required Mr. Trump to perpetrate a consumer fraud on millions of patients by misleading them about changes to their health insurance plans and the future availability of their doctors.
The Trump plan is repairing at least some of the damage caused by ObamaCare. Notes the Journal:
Among all private-sector workers offered medical benefits, 72% opted to take them.
The share of private-sector workers offered health benefits had slowly trended down from 71% in 2010, the first year a comparable survey was conducted. The first survey was conducted in the same month the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Provisions of the health-care law were rolled out of over the next several years.
“Thanks, Obama,” is not exactly the sentiment that comes to mind when most Republicans reflect on the post-2010 coverage trend. And it seems that dissatisfaction with ObamaCare is also rising among activists in the Democratic party. Unfortunately they don’t seem to appreciate yet the power of markets to provide for human needs like medical care.
The New York Times reports:
The pressure from a new generation of confrontational progressives has put Democrats at the precipice of a sweeping transition, away from not only the centrist ethos of the Bill Clinton years but also, perhaps, from the consensus-oriented liberalism of Barack Obama. Less than a decade ago, Mr. Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, derided the “professional left” for making what he suggested were preposterous demands — like pressing for “Canadian health care.”
That attitude now appears obsolete, on matters well beyond health policy.
That attitude may seem politically obsolete among American leftists, but patients trapped in single-payer health systems may become increasingly open to it. The BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal, reports on the rationing now occurring in the U.K.’s National Health Service:
Increasing numbers of patients seeking knee or hip surgery are finding they can’t have operations…
In 2017-18 a total of 1675 exceptional funding requests (1188 for knee surgery and 487 for hip surgery) were turned down by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), show the data obtained under a freedom of information request. This was a 45% increase from 2016-17, when 1155 requests were rejected (766 for knee and 389 for hip surgery)…
Ian Eardley, senior vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said, “Hip and knee surgery has long been shown to be a clinically and cost effective treatment for patients. We are therefore appalled that a number of commissioning groups are now effectively requiring thousands of patients to beg for treatment.”
“The money has in effect run out,” says Julie Wood, chief executive of NHS Clinical Commissioners.
There is a solution for the U.K., and for every other country where single-payer health care is failing.
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