Letter: Repeal, then replace with what?

The critics want to repeal and replace. But with what? Let’s look at several proposed alternatives.

First idea up is to allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. The problem with that approach will be the tendency for insurance companies to locate in those states that impose the most lax standards for the policies they write. The result will be a race to the bottom in the quality of health insurance policies being provided.

To avoid this deterioration of quality, it will be necessary to implement common nationwide standards in order to create a level playing field. But doesn’t this raise the specter of Washington taking over the health care system? Incidentally, it is these existing common standards provided by Obamacare that presently allow insurance companies to compete nationally.

Then, there is tort reform and various tax incentives for individuals to buy insurance. Ideas worth discussing, but is it necessary to repeal Obamacare to implement them?

How about the pooling of individuals to give them greater bargaining power? Great idea, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. To really get bargaining power, we need the so-called single-payer option in which people of any age can buy into Medicare, at cost. Estimates of savings vary, but a 20 percent drop in the cost of insurance isn’t unreasonable. People should still be able to purchase supplemental insurance as they now can.

Are the critics really ready for prime time?

Mike McCaughey


Baton Rouge