Get The Government Out Of Health Care

The United States Chamber of Commerce continues to work through the regulatory process to identify the burdens that will be imposed on businesses by the Obamacare law when it takes full effect later this year and in 2014.

After consulting for months with small businesses, large corporations, hospitals and health insurance and pharmaceutical companies the Chamber is issuing a proposal for further meaningful reform.

Covering 45 million uninsured Americans and seeing that all citizens have access to affordable health services will continue to be a priority of the Chamber. Rather than drive Americans into government run programs steps should be taken to strengthen the private health care marketplace.

Those who are able to obtain insurance through their employer and those who purchase it on their own should be treated the same under the tax code. Rather than impose a one size fits all set of state and federal mandates Congress should allow greater flexibility in both employer sponsored and individually purchased plans so that consumers can choose competitively priced plans that are best for them.

The expansion of community based medical clinics should be encouraged to improve access to basic services which would spare the cost of expensive visits to doctor’s offices or the hospital emergency room. Better pooling arrangements should be allowed so that individuals and small business can team up to expand purchasing power and negotiate strength while diluting risk, Chamber officials feel.

Some of the most significant things that is causing health care cost to increase are things such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Thirty-five percent or more of American adults are obese and 23 million children are obese or overweight. Type-two diabetes affects 26 million Americans and 79 million who are 20 or older are pre-diabetic. Medical cost related to obesity range from $147 billion to almost $210 billion per year.

Employers should promote wellness in the workplace and offer incentives for healthy behavior. Providers should be rewarded for improving health and wellness and not just for treating illnesses. An intense national movement should be supported across America to promote wellness, physical activity and personal health responsibility.

Government is the largest payer and purchaser of health care. Reform must begin by saving the country’s health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Without reasonable changes these programs will not be able to survive and will bankrupt federal and state governments. States should be given Medicaid grants with greater flexibility to run their programs.

Congress must reform the medical liability system which breeds excessive litigation, encourages test that are not needed and drives specialist from their practices. Also, deploying health information technology and doing more to attack fraud and abuse in both public and private insurance claims will reduce spending.

Small businesses are struggling to comply with Obamacare and many do not offer employee insurance because of the cost. At our newspaper companies that do not offer health insurance we give employees a raise in pay in place of the insurance.

Beginning in January business with 50 or more fulltime workers must offer health insurance or face penalties beginning at $2,000 per employee after the first 30 fulltime employees. A person who works 30 hours per week is not fulltime but that is what the Obamacare law says.

In my opinion Obamacare neither protects our companies employees nor makes healthcare more affordable. No one will be able to keep the health care they have even if they like it. More companies will be forced to cut the number of present employees and reduce benefits of others.

When the federal government thinks they know better than you or your doctor about the health care you will get our citizens and doctors are in trouble. With the government in control many Americans can die from neglect, lack of medical professionals and proper medicine. The solution is to get the government out of the health care and health insurance business.