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Eliminate the health care mandates

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ObamaCare is working as planned. It is increasing the numbers of uninsured and this is causing a crisis that the government must fix. As the crisis worsens, Obama and his followers will increase their lobbying for a single payer system. When this occurs, our national government will pay the health care providers for our health care. This will put them in control of our health care choices.

Republicans at the national level have no conservative health care plan. They repeatedly vote to repeal ObamaCare but do not have a reasonable replacement idea. The few solutions they suggest are just more unconstitutional big government programs. To move to a free market in medical care, our national government must remove the economic underpinnings of low-deductible job-based medical care.

If this is done, it will probably take years to move to free market medical care. This is where most medical care is paid out-of-pocket and individuals own catastrophic medical insurance policies. It would be similar to owning a car. You pay for routine maintenance and have insurance in case of a wreck.

It is probably too late for national government to move us to a free market system. It will be up to the states to do this. On Monday, conservative State House members introduced HB 707, The Georgia Health Care Freedom and ACA Noncompliance Act. Also, Governor Deal has refused to participate in the Medicaid expansion.

Opting out of ObamaCare and the Medicaid expansion are good conservative actions. However, together, they are increasing the numbers of uninsured. Georgia lawmakers need a plan to help them.

A major problem of our medical care delivery system is the increased costs caused by state and federal mandates.

The state mandates came about because of the group coverage of job-based health care. Both consumer and provider groups lobbied the Georgia General Assembly members to make sure that their concerns were covered. As a result of this crony capitalism, Georgia has forty-five mandates. They include such things as Chlamydia treatment, maternity minimum stay, mandated providers as athletic trainers, mandated covered persons such as dependent students/adults.

To make health insurance affordable, Georgia lawmakers need to eliminate all of these state mandates for the individual insurance market. A competitive market will assure that insurance companies offer appropriate insurance policies for their customers. They could leave the mandates in place for job-based health care insurance plans because this legislation is not about employer-owned health insurance. It is about helping the uninsured obtain affordable coverage.

Georgia lawmakers need to eliminate the national mandates or the essential health benefits of ObamaCare. These mandates include the following items and services:

  1. Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospitalization (such as surgery)
  4. Maternity and newborn care (care before and after your baby is born)
  5. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
  8. Laboratory services
  9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  10. Pediatric services

By eliminating these state and federal mandates, prices will drop because individuals will no longer need to pay for services they do not need. Individuals will likely choose high deductible or catastrophic medical insurance policies. People paying for most of their own medical care out-of-pocket will value shop. This will put medical care providers in a more competitive market. These things will lower costs and increase quality.

The national government might file suit in the federal courts to try to force the Georgia medical insurance companies to include the essential health benefits in the individual policies. If this happens, Georgia must have a way to resist this in their legislation.

The Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the national government could not use the commerce clause to force people to buy something. ObamaCare violates this by forcing people to purchase the essential health benefits. The bill could point this out and use it for a legal defense.

There is a problem with this. It puts the medical care of the citizens of Georgia at the mercy of the federal courts. The courts could issue an injunction to the insurance companies to cease writing the policies until the case was decided. This delaying tactic would severely hamper the uninsured moving quickly to the needed insurance policies.

If this happens, the law could include language that brings in the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798. This says that the states do not need to follow laws that they decide are unconstitutional. With this, the states would refuse to cooperate with the federal courts.

The state of Georgia could tell the medical insurance companies that were chartered in Georgia to continue issuing insurance policies to citizens of Georgia. The only recourse the federal courts would have is to ask the executive branch to send agents into Georgia to shut down the insurance companies. This is highly unlikely.

To drive the point home, they could point out that some Georgia General Assembly members attended the Mount Vernon Assembly. This is an assembly of state legislators that are making plans to hold an Article V Convention. If two thirds of the states participate, the convention can propose amendments to the Constitution. If three fourths of the states agree to the amendments, they become part of the constitution.

Time is of the essence. The Georgia General Assembly needs to act during the upcoming session. If they act in the upcoming session they might be able to spare Georgia citizens from ObamaCare and a single payer system.

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