On his TV special on health care, “Huckabee's Solutions to ObamaCare and the Health Crisis in America,” Mike Huckabee promotes many anti free market, pro big government, and unconstitutional ideas that will not work.
What will work is free market medical care where Individuals would own their own catastrophic medical insurance policies and pay for most of their care out-of-pocket. Governments cannot create free markets through legislations. They can only interfere in free markets.
He says in his “My solutions to ObamaCare segment” that medical insurance should be personal and portable. He is correct. Individuals should own their own health insurance policies. By so doing, they will not lose their insurance when they change jobs.
He correctly discusses how the income taxes incentivize employers owning the insurance plans. He says it makes sense to fix the tax codes instead of revamping the entire system. He said this meant there should be deductibles and copays that made sure the patients had some “skin in the game.”
He went on to discuss the virtues of tax deductible Health Saving Accounts where out-of-pocket and insurance payments got the same tax break. They would solve the portability problem while decreasing costs. This is true but there are no payroll or FICA taxes on employer owned insurance. HSAs do not get this tax break as the contributions are made with after tax dollars.
Also, to get the tax deduction with HSAs, the government needs to know exactly what was done. This is data collection that sooner or later the government will use to control the health care decisions.
In the past, Huckabee supported the FairTax. This repealed the 16th Amendment and ended the income tax. With no income tax, people would have no tax incentives to job-based health care, They would get all their pay and save tax free. This is like a big HSA but without the data collection.
He said that physicians were more interested in treating than curing you. This kept you coming back and spending more money. He advocated a big government incentive plan for physicians to fix his problem with the free market.
He said cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and alzheimers needed research and the federal government must do this because the drug company’s incentives were to mainly work on treatment and not cures. He argued for a big government program like the Apollo project that put a man on the moon to find a cure for these diseases.
He went on to discuss tort reform. In many states, malpractice is a big problem and each state needs to solve this problem for itself rather than the federal government trying to fix it.
James Madison wrote the Tenth Federalist Paper to explain the virtues of federalism. He said that federalism would, “control the violence of faction.” He continued that, “The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States.”
If the central government gets tort reform wrong, it could affect the health of all the citizens. Federalism would have those states with the best tort laws delivering the best medical care. Federalism allows a comparison of the effects of different law. The federalist principle was codified in our Constitution in article I, Section 8, The Powers of Congress.
Some of Mr. Huckabee’s ideas may be good at the state level, but most are unconstitutional at the federal level. They go against our founding principle of federalism.