It was just a few years ago when America’s gasoline prices were through the roof, with little hope for the trend to reverse in the foreseeable future.
In the summer of 2008, gas prices reached the highest mark in our country’s history, with prices averaging at $4.11 a gallon. That was one of many reasons that voters opted to reject that reigning political power (the GOP) in the November elections.
As gasoline prices tumbled over the next few years, the Democrats used that fact as a selling point for the re-election of the Dem incumbents, ironic for many reasons, primarily because the liberal politicians seemed to be universally opposed to the technology most directly responsible for the unprecedented sustained reduction: FRACKING.
But the oil industry and virtually every Republican in elected office championed the new technology, and the results have been universally positive. Yes, there are environmental concerns, but they are minor when compared to the benefits of the process and further research into the process has made it safer through the years.
The resulting glut in gasoline supplies have not only kept this country free from the pricing extortion that OPEC and the Middle East Oil cartel have been inflicting on us directly, but also served notice to the rest of the world that they too can be free of the “foreign oil blackmail” seen for the last 45 years.
Aggressive scientific innovation and a politically conservative “get’r done” attitude may also be what helps the GOP deliver this country from the doldrums of Obamacare. It is time to throw political correctness aside and get to the nitty gritty of why Obamacare was doomed from the beginning. When human beings are guaranteed something, anything without regard to their own behavior, work ethic or attitude, it is almost a cosmic certainty that a sizable segment of the population is going to abuse the freebie and take advantage of the system. As a result, quality is diminished for everyone.
We need a serious conversation about the expense that irresponsible behavior by the individual will cost us all in healthcare/welfare bills down the road.
By the way, that is not a conversation most “live and let live” liberals want to have.
Donald Trump has announced (finally) some common sense ideas that will come closer to making affordable healthcare available for all working Americans and, yes, look after those who cannot afford to take care of themselves. His listed initiatives, straight from his own website are as follows:
- Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
- Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
- Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
- Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
- Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
- Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
- Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.
These initiatives do not represent the total solution, and it is painfully obvious that pre-existing conditions are not even mentioned. Understand, a true insurance plan can never allow a preexisting condition to be introduced into coverage because it then ceases being a risk to cover that person, and instead becomes a loss leader. In other words, coverage of such an existing ailment is flat out welfare, no other word for it.
These cases are common, and do in fact require a governmental solution. Here’s to hoping we can work on that together, because clearly the overwhelming irresponsible and hideously expensive Obamacare experiment has failed to deliver a sensible and fair solution.
We can and must do better than what the GOP refused to give us years ago, and President Obama and his team forced on us in 2010 with Obamacare.