Health Insurance Reform
Health Insurance has become more and more expensive every single year, deductibles have gone up, and the health of our nation is in crisis. Lobbyists and Politicians are a match made (in something out of) only in horror movies while dark money exchanges hands and our options decrease. Year after year we are promised that solutions are on the way by both political parties and both then blame the other while nothing changes. I refuse to stand aside while things get worse. I have some simple ideas that by themselves won't save the country but will provide relief to every single person that chooses to voluntarily take advantage of them.
Government regulations, taxes and fees have removed any chance of having affordable options in health insurance. We can make some simple changes to immediately reduce the cost. I do not believe that our own government should be profiting off our health. Any and all fees such as taxes on insurance, taxes on medical supplies or providers or taxes on pharmaceuticals should be removed immediately at the state and federal level. Each of these increases the cost of care and decreases the number of medical providers available. Ultimately it all leads to increased costs of health insurance. By removing all taxes and fees, we would reduce costs instantly without doing anything other than removing government profit.
We also need to create a more competitive market. While each state has its own insurance laws, I will look to partner with other states to purchase insurance across state lines and make it as easy as possible to purchase insurance across national lines to create more choice instantly. If you can go to Idaho to buy a car, or on the internet to buy a pair of shoes or order a TV from Japan, there is no reason why we could not allow the same flexibility with insurance. By allowing more competition from other states and countries you will see lower prices. Some may take advantage of these options, and others may not, ultimately the choice is yours and it is you right to have access to these options. We shall immediately take this same approach with all pharmaceutical products approved for sale in other countries. By allowing wholesale importation of medication from other countries, the price at the counter will drop instantly. We should be embracing generic brand options for consumers and removing prescription laws that require needless trips to the doctor for something a pharmacist can give medical advice on. I want you to have the cost saving ability to purchase medication at your local drugstore that import cheaper options, or to purchase them online and have them delivered to your front door.
I want to encourage medical tourism to be allowed through your insurance. If you need a treatment and can find it cheaper in another county you should be allowed to make that choice with the benefit of your insurance plan. By doing this we will reduce claim payouts and with lower claims we will see lower prices.
I support removing all mandated coverages on insurance plans. What a plan covers should be up to you, the consumer, not the government. Not everyone wants their insurance to cover things like childbirth or abortion. Birth control or Viagra. No one should be forced to buy any coverage they don’t want. A 5 year old boy does not need the same coverage as an 85 year old woman. I want to create an a la carte type system that allows a consumer to opt into the coverage they want and need. We are diverse people and government has tried to make us all fit absurdly in their one size fits all plans. We should embrace our diversity, not stifle it. In many ways the two party system works to force one set of policies on the other. With my solutions YOU get the choice, not some politician and certainly not me. If we allow these a la carte plans you will have the option to have everything covered or very little. Cadillac plans or catastrophic. There will always be a price point available for your budget instead of feeling trapped by expensive plans that cover things you will never need or want.
Not everyone wants health insurance, but everyone who wants it should have it available to them in one form or another. I support the use of direct primary care and believe that is a huge portion of the solution to our healthcare crisis. Think of it as a monthly membership to a doctor, or group of doctors, that you can see for any average medical issue for a modest monthly price, usually under $100 a month. This comes with no copays or fees, and you don't get a surprise medical bill in the mail a month later. I want to shine a light on this cheap and easy solution to the lack of accessible affordable health care.
I also support and encourage the use of “health co-op insurance” plans. This removes the middleman and immediately reduces costs by $5,000-$10,000 a year, and can completely remove copays, deductibles, as well as typically having less red tape as well and paying doctors more quickly.
I want to encourage telemedicine to allow housebound patients the ability to get consultations from home while having their medicine imported from Europe and delivered the same day via online services. This will help expedite care, give doctors more tools to help more people and even help stop the spread of illness by allowing sick people to stay home instead of showing up at a clinic.
The right to healthcare, to me, means the right to any medical treatment you desire, free from government interference or control. Women have a right to have access to birth control. We have a right to have access to eyeglasses or medications we need. We have a right to not have the government prohibit access or put up roadblocks to these things. Prescription laws insert the government into our own personal medical choices. This also creates an overuse of doctors for routine things they wouldn't be needed for and increases the cost of insurance. You have a right to buy your glasses without needing a “note”. You have the right to purchase your birth control without a “note”. You have a right to buy your asthma without needing to visit a doctor. With that said, you also have the right to go to any doctor that is willing to treat you and you have the right to seek their advice on medications. You also have the right to seek the advice of a pharmacist for their recommendation.
We need more medical facilities in our state, the population is growing, and the rural areas are still lacking in facilities. Lack of medical facilities drives up the costs at the existing ones by reducing competition. Currently a business must petition the state and prove there is a “need” for a new facility and frequently they are denied. For over 50 years Washington has had Certificate of Need law on the books that limit access to healthcare providers and those laws should be abolished immediately.
Government corporatism and cronyism have controlled and reduced competition so that a select few can be in the conversation. One consequence of this lack of competition is that a few companies have a captive market, allowing them to get away with poor claims service and leaving doctors and patients struggling with denied claims and slow payouts. By introducing more competition with things like Direct Primary care and Health Co-ops we will give the consumer the power to choose companies that are accountable to their needs. To help facilitate this I think it is imperative to abolish “Open Enrollment” periods to allow consumers the right to switch companies at any time.
As an elected official I vow no special favors for certain corporations, I vow not to take any money from a single lobbyist.